Yesterday, we reported on a young lady's grief with Changi General Hospital (CGH) and how she and her family found them to be insensitive, unprofessional and unsympathetic when caring for her late grandmother.

CGH has responded to the post. 

In extending CGH's apology for the anxiety caused to the family, Associate Professor Lim Si Ching, Senior Consultant in CGH's Geriatric Medicine Department, insisted that they had provided appropriate medical care to the deceased.

Lim however acknowledged that there were significant gaps in communication and that they could have done more to help the family better understand the medical interventions by their care team.

With regard to the bedsores that the patient suffered, Lim explained that CGH had taken the necessary preventive measures, such as placing her on a pressure-relief air-mattress, and turning the patient over at regular intervals.

While CGH has apologised for the anxieties that it caused the family, the unfortunate fact is that the grandmother has already passed away.

CGH needs to relook its systems and processes to ensure that its care team providing palliative care for end-of-life patients, treat these patients and their family with more sensitivity and empathy.

To deal with an impending death is not straightforward and simple for any patient and their family members. Timely and effective communication is as important as the quality of the care that is given.

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