26.9 C
Byron Shire
January 17, 2022

Avoidable death of person with Down syndrome at Byron Central Hospital triggers inquest

Latest News

The earliest unequivocally modern human remains in Africa

There may be earlier remains of modern humans – but science is certain about these ones.

Other News

Is your water off in Lennox Head?

Ballina Council says that water supply is temporarily unavailable to properties on Pinnacle Row, and parts of Ballina Street, Lennox Head due to a water main break on North Creek Road that occurred this morning.

No by-elections during this Tweed Council term

Tuesday's Tweed Council meeting's second order of business was to decide if a by-election should take place if a councillor could not continue in their elected role. 

Northern Rivers closing in on 1,000 daily COVID-19 cases

There were 962 COVID positive cases of COVID-19 confirmed in the Northern NSW Health District in the 24 hours up to 8pm 11 January.

Man dead after Lismore stabbing

NSW Police say a man has died, and two others have been injured, following a stabbing in Lismore overnight.

What do you do next if you test positive to COVID?

With more than a third of callers to the National Coronavirus Helpline asking about isolation, healthdirect has launched a guide to help those who are COVID-19 positive know what they should do while isolating at home and when to seek medical help.

Why is Modern Monetary Theory important?

Since the federal government has no nominal limitations on spending, it means that it can always afford to buy anything for sale in its own currency, including labour. As such, unemployment is a political choice, not an economic imperative.

Kelvin Forrest, a person with Down syndrome, was found outside Byron Central Hospital suffering from hypothermia after wandering outside through an unlocked door at the hospital in the early hours of Saturday, 28 July, an anonymous source has told Echonetdaily. It is understood that Mr Forrest was discovered at 5am by a security guard and later died as a result of the hypothermia.

Echonetdalily’s source said Mr Forrest had been ‘specialled’ – meaning he was supposed to have one-on-one care – a few days prior to the incident.

Echonetdaily understands that the door Mr Forrest used to exit the hospital should have been locked for security purposes. According to the anonymous information supplied to Echonetdaily the door had been left unlocked for another long-term patient who was believed to have a range of complex mental health issues.

However, Wayne Jones, chief executive of Northern NSW Local Health District (NNSWLHD) has since contacted Echonetdaily confirming that ‘There were no mental health patients in the hospital’s general inpatient unit at the time of this tragic incident.’

It is important to note that Mr Forrest ‘had not ever been a patient of the sub-acute mental health unit at Byron Central Hospital’ said Mr Jones.

Coronial inquest

A coronial inquest is currently underway with a police report due to be lodged by September 28.

Northern NSW Local Health District (NNSWLHD) didn’t answer Echonetdaily’s questions regarding how staff failed to notice that Mr Forrest was missing and whether the hospital has enough staff to manage the number and types of patients that are presenting at the hospital.

Wayne Jones, chief executive, NNSWLHD told Echonetdaily, ‘We extend our deepest sympathies following the tragic death of a patient at Byron Central Hospital.

‘NNSWLHD has been in constant contact with the patient’s family, including providing open disclosure regarding the circumstances of the death.

‘This case has been referred to the NSW Coroner, and an internal investigation is also underway. Further details cannot be provided at this time.

‘NNSWLHD is providing ongoing support to staff involved in the patient’s care, understanding that any patient death is a distressing event.

‘All staff have a responsibility to maintain the privacy of their patients, including not discussing patient information and treatment outside their workplace.

‘Byron Central Hospital is staffed according to industrial award requirements.’

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


  1. I have not been willing to take my handicapped child to the local hospital for quite a few years due to the very poor treatment my child has received at there hands (not interested, disrespectful, negectful, refusing to treat ,referring us back to the local doctor, being very rude and uncaring )
    It is so sad that someone had to die due to there lack of care, I can only pray that all appropriate actions will be taken and enforced so this does not occur again


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

The Greens launch NurseKeeper for nurses and paramedics

The Greens have written to the Premier to ask him to immediately introduce ‘NurseKeeper’ to urgently introduce pandemic pay and bonuses for nurses and paramedics. 

Lung specialist ‘we’re doing the best we can’ and Hazzard lays it on the line for the unvaccinated

At this morning's COVID-19 update press conference, Concord and Nepean Hospitals lung specialist Dr Lucy Morgan gave an update on COVID-19. Dr Morgan says she works as part of a team of people looking after patients with COVID.

Lismore’s Australia Day Ambassadors

Ahead of the Australia Day celebrations Olympians Kaarle McCulloch and Kevin Chavez have been announced as Lismore’s 2022 Australia Day Ambassadors.

Northern Rivers Animal Services needs helpers

Ballina-based animal welfare organisation Northern Rivers Animal Services Inc is on the lookout for cat-lovers to help at their cat cottage, and foster carers for both dogs and cats.