Lyndal Hughes holds a picture of her father John who is very ill in hospital
Lyndal Hughes holds a picture of her father John who is very ill in hospital Warren Lynam

Hospital shake-up after palliative care death

A WOMAN who claims a Sunshine Coast hospital robbed her father of the right to die at home is urging others to come forward and join her in making a submission to the Royal Commission into Aged Care.

John Stiller died in the Buderim Private Hospital on October 16 and was survived by his wife of 55 years, Jennifer, son Richard and daughter Lyndal Hughes.

Mr Stiller, who was suffering with cancer, was supposed to go home two days before his death, but Ms Hughes said he was instead moved to a crowded room which caused him distress.

He was subsequently medicated and unable to be released from hospital as he slipped into a vegetative state from which he never woke.

An internal review was conducted into Mr Stiller's care.

A Uniting Care spokesperson said "key findings" of the review "included a need for better communication with Mr Stiller's family, and the need to involve his family more in decisions regarding his care".

"In the interest of current and future patients and their families, we are updating our staff training to address these findings as a matter of priority."

Ms Hughes said she hoped others would come forward with their experiences within the aged care sector so they could push for further change.

"I think if people would just go out of their comfort zone and mention what's happened we can understand the degree, so something more meaningful and deeper can happen," she said.

"I will being doing a submission myself. I've already lodged that I'll do a submission.

"There'll be more weight if there's a group."

The circumstances surrounding the death of Ms Hughes' father impacted her grieving process, but she said once Fairfax MP Ted O'Brien stepped in to help her the weight of the situation was lifted.

"I felt it was more than just me," she said.

"It's been more distressing for my mother than the death of my father."