Chapter 17 ...Hospital Left in the Dark

After two days in Christchurch and no reply to Tom's telephone Whiteside asked a friend Anne to call around to his place an see if he was OK. Later the same day she returned the call to say that the house appeared to be locked up. After another day of no response he  rang Dr Clark's surgery to be told that Tom had been taken to hospital after having 'packed a a wobbly'. Angry, he rang the Gold Coast Hospital. Here he was met by a veritable wall of silence. What he was not aware of was that the hospital were acting on information supplied by the Blue Nurse Carol Crozier right outside her brief to do so. Tom had been admitted by Dr Clark on a R26 of the Mental Health Act, largely on the advice of Crozier. Initially Tom was admitted to Ward 8 and later then placed in a secure surrounding Ward 13. This was reserved for more violent patients.

Whiteside was kept in the dark presumably because they believed that he had no right to information as he was not a relation or next of kin. Whilst this was understandable it did not occur to him that they were not aware of the Enduring Power of Attorney that he held. Had they known of its existence then the traumas that we were all subjected to would never have taken place. ACAT was attached to the Gold Coast Hospital and Monica Barrett was an employee. Had she received the letter that Whiteside had directed a Blue Care employee to deliver to her specifically, that information would have been available. Yet Crozier well aware of the situation chose to keep that information of the Enduring Power of Attorney to herself, thus making sure that in a few days Tom's fate would be decided and that he would be placed in a nursing home, something that he had fiercely fought against Crozier's insistence for at least three years.

On the fourth day  Whiteside rang the hospital, once again audibly angry that Tom had been hospitalised. By now he had been transferred to Ward 13. He spoke with a Leonie Stewart who rather surprisingly allowed him to speak to Tom. Whiteside shall never forget Tom's plaintive cry to get him out of there. He felt so helpless but assured him that he would do all he could to make sure that Tom would never go into a nursing home. Whilst he didn't believe that Tom was fully aware that he was unable to be of any help at that time, he did ring him daily after that, to reassure his state of mind.

It came to light later, and this of course was not conveyed to Whiteside at the time, that Tom had been briefly seen by Dr Chai, two and a half days after admittance. Nowhere in his report is there any mention of dementia, notwithstanding the fact that Tom had a sizeable hospital file. In fact perusal of the hospital files show a lamentable aptitude to rely on information from sources outside, in lieu of a thorough hospital investigation. This had the effect of allowing the Chief Justice to rely on the 'professional expertise' of Dr Chai , that distorted his summation. As the judge said he 'relied on the evidence of the doctor'.

This from a report that Dr Chai submitted on February 7th 2000, nearly two months after Tom had been admitted; the question was:
Are you aware of any condition that may have affected his capacity to execute the Enduring Power of Attorney?

Dr Chai wrote: cognitive impairment of moderate severity as observed in hospital -Dec '99. Note: This is a general statement of his mental capacity and does not necessarily imply that he was incompetent on the day the EPOA was signed in early Dec 99.

Yet the Chief Justice Paul de Jersey who's job it was to act in the interest of justice was not able to do so. He was not able to define Tom Jowett's cognitive power on December 1st 1999. This was the purpose of his mission. We get ahead of ourselves here for much water was to flow before the Chief Justice levied his form of justice in the wash up.

Tom's forced incarceration in lieu of his Enduring Power of Attorneys absence was made on December 8th 1999. In the Emergency Dept Patient Record Tom Jowett is entered as patient number 230588 and his arrival time being at 2.50pm. The information entered at that time was as a result of a 'recent ACAT assessment. He is diagnosed with 'progressive dementia' and noted to have a history of bi-polar disorders. These tabled diagnosis were not only inaccurate but carelessly so.

Carole Crozier in acting in the manner she did flouted both Tom Jowett's stated wish that he did not want to go into a nursing home and the powers invested legally in Bruce Whiteside to which she at that stage (apart from Dr Ian Clark) was singularly aware of its existence. In the normal course of events she would not have been aware of this but ACAT assessor Monica Barrett would have been and that information would have been available and entered on the admission sheet. This in turn would have enabled the Gold Coast Hospital to have contacted the EPOA in Christchurch and what followed would not have eventuated.

Underlying this events was the clandestine machinations of Carole Crozier in the first instance and Andrew Smyth in the second. Were there criminal professionals acting here?  The great problem here of course is the trust that is automatically attributed to such people by the nature of their profession and the ode of conduct that they are sworn to. Their very positions are seen without qualification as sacrosanct ...and therein lies the problem. If one sees their behaviour as 'criminal', then the onus deemed by law, made by lawyers is to prove that allegation, yet the assumption that they act with total propriety and don't can leave the innocent traumatised or even ruined.

Crozier understood that in the existence of a EPOA that there was a real possibility that her control over Tom Jowett would cease. Her knowledge of her benefit of $20,000 was a compelling reason why Tom Jowett should be placed in a nursing home immediately. To that end she made arrangements to engineer that eventuality.

In a relationship that allowed Crozier to address Tom's late solicitor as 'Andrew' and do it as a paid servant of Blue Care who were completely oblivious to this quite illegal association, raised serious questions of impropriety and intent. We should not forget either that Smyth who had been Tom's solicitor for six years had overseen no fewer than ten new wills in thirty months, never seriously questioning the reason for these rapid changes. Yet here he was after ten new wills which he never questioned on any grounds, about to plead in the light of a new change that he did not control ; diminished capacity of his now recalcitrant client.

Here then was a situation rife in intent, between two professionals, who stood to gain materially from collusion.

On the day of Whiteside's departure and the immediate actions that saw Tom end up in hospital, namely December 8th 1999 there is a ACAT report in the GC Hospital files, with the comments This is what I know, Cheers, Monica (Barrett).

On the 6th of December there were comments in regard to Whiteside's overview of the situation that have been passed on to Barrett. These were accurately presented. The next day 7th there is a a visit from Barrett that Whiteside had requested back in JULY!!!. Present was Carole Crozier. (This was the day that Prudence had advised of the ACAT visit. It was also the day that the letter of EPOA intended for Barrett was requisitioned by Crozier . Barrett notes that Mr Whiteside raises the concern of 'financial abuse', (ie Crozier's writing of cheque for $1000 and signed by Jowett) and continues 'Dr Clarke states that Mr Whiteside has POA'. Here also was Crozier fuelling the case for Tom's removal into a nursing home. Barrett however noted that there was conflict between Crozier and Whiteside, proof if proof were needed that the Blue Care nurse had an agenda that had no relationship to her role as a professional health carer.

When Tom was admitted to Ward 13 a couple of days later the Client Details were furnished by Crozier:

Contact Person: Andrew Smyth

Nothing favourable to Tom's cause; no mention of Whiteside as POA

On the available information largely furnished by Blue Care nurse Crozier a meeting was arranged to decide what to do with Tom Jowett. This was set down for December 16th without any reference or contact with Bruce Whiteside. The meeting setup by ACAT an administrative section of the Gold Coast Hospital and went ahead, regardless.

Angella Channels who at the time was the social worker in charge interviews Mr Jowett before the meeting of the 16 Dec. 1999. For a man who is now nominated as having dementia, (the impetus for this being driven by Carole Crozier, BNS) her questions and resultant answers leave the competency of staff and subsequent rulings by the Chief Justice in serious question.

AC (Angela Channels): " TJ (Tom Jowett) states that he does not think that he has been managing we ..., " I have discussed hostel placement and he is agreeable to moving into a hostel , although I am not sure if he fully understands what that means" AC goes on to say that she will discuss the matter again with TJ.

AC: Contact with Dr Ian Clark ..."Dr Clark does not know of any family but feels that friend/neighbour Bruce Whiteside may have EPOA for TJ."

It will be noted here that Dr Clark states that he feels that Bruce Whiteside has an EPOA. Now this statement is made on 13.12.1999. It will be recalled that earlier on 7.12.1999, six days earlier that Angela Channels, immediate boss (MB) knew of this from the same source. So why the confusion the doubt? Even if Crozier withholding information was relevant, Barrett knew that the possibility of the EPOA actually existed

When Bruce Whiteside came back from New Zealand he called on Dr Clark and questioned why the hospital was not furnished with a copy of his  instructions? Dr Clark said that he could not find them. To support his claim he produced TJ's file and could find no note to that effect. Whiteside then asked the doctor to produce his own file, where the note was found. This was a simple mistake and as he  had called upon the doctor it was natural enough to place that instruction in the wrong (in retrospect) file.

The fact remains that information was in the hands of the GCH yet they DID NOT consult or mention the dilemma they perceived to have in spite of contact with the EPOA in Christchurch.

One fact re-emerged yet again. In her interview with Crozier it was stressed that in spite of the Crozier- Jowett battle to have him placed in a nursing home, she stated that in her  professional opinion that Tom Jowett definitely required placement in a nursing home. Crozier also outside her role requested that Andrew Smyth Tom's ex solicitor be brought into the meeting. This was accommodated, not withstanding the existence of the EPOA.

Another indication of the mindset that Crozier carried was when she used her position to enter Tom Jowett's house to remove documentations that were delivered selectively to  solicitor Andrew Smyth, she did so without the knowledge of her employer, Blue Care. This occurred whilst Tom Jowett was in hospital.

As the days passed Bruce Whiteside in Christchurch continued to ring Tom in Ward 13 and Tom in turn continued to plead to be allowed to go home.

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