Probe widens on nurse who 'exploited lonely man' for $1m
A TWEED nurse accused of changing the will of a lonely man in need of care to gain access to his $1 million estate has allegedly held back on providing information to investigators.
Leonie Eglington in August 2017 complained to the Tweed Hospital about the transitional aged care nurse, just two months before her brother Pat Meagher died.
The investigation which was widened may take several more months, frustrating Ms Eglington who has sought answers about the nurse maintaining close contact with her brother.
Investigators will determine if the nurse used her role as a carer to exploit a personal relationship which caused Mr Meagher to change his will to make her the only beneficiary.
The Bulletin can reveal an external consultant will investigate the allegation that the nurse during earlier internal hospital inquiries did not disclose information available to her.
Ms Eglington was shocked after being banned from a hospital visit as the nurse shared a cake with her brother, and later told she was no longer his appointed power of attorney and guardian
She discovered the safe combination at his home was changed, and counted only $161,000 despite them both leaving $180,000 of inheritance money along with $320,000 of her brother's superannuation.
Ms Eglington's lawyer Jeff Garrett, from Attwood Marshall, was advised by the health service that the nurse had provided a response which sparked a further "internal risk assessment".
"Based on all of the information available to the Health District, a decision was taken to investigate the complaint through an external consultant, setting aside the internal investigation process to ensure the integrity of the investigation is optimised," the manager wrote.
Northern NSW Local Health District chief executive Wayne Jones in outlining the terms of reference for the investigation said a further allegation was submitted by Ms Eglington's lawyers.
They had confirmed that the nurse in November 2016 had taken Mr Meagher, who was recovering from a stroke, to a different solicitor to alter his will to her favour.
Mr Meagher later met with Attwood Marshall solicitors and sought to update his will, reappointing his sister.
"It is further alleged that (the nurse) failed to appropriately respond when interviewed as part of the internal investigation," Mr Jones wrote.
The investigation report was expected to be provided to Mr Jones by June this year. The nurse is understood to be on restricted duties and not allowed to work with the elderly.
Mr Jones yesterday told The Bulletin: "A review is currently underway with regards to care provided to Patrick John Meagher between June 2016 and March 2017. We expect this to be finalised in the coming months.
"NNSWLHD cannot make any further comment at this time due to the ongoing status
of the investigation."