NSW Ambulance chief executive Dominic Morgan has apologised to the family of Tony Jenkins after an interview that inferred the late Hunter paramedic had a drug addiction when he committed suicide in April.
Mr Morgan apologised on Thursday night for “any additional hurt or distress that has been caused to your family” following the interview that aired in the weeks after Mr Jenkins’ death which implied he used NSW Ambulance opioid painkiller Fentanyl.
“From my understanding of Tony Jenkins he was this well respected, well regarded professional and it concerns me greatly that a person with that reputation could find themselves so desperate that their only option was to turn to drugs of addiction,” Mr Morgan said during the interview.
The apology came after Mr Jenkins’ widow Sharon protested outside Hamilton ambulance station this week on the six-month anniversary of her husband’s death and called for an apology. This followed release of an internal review of events leading up to Mr Jenkins’ death which raised serious concerns about the evidence relied on by NSW Ambulance to back allegations he had tampered with Fentanyl.
The review disclosed that a secret report three months before Mr Jenkins’ death concluded there was “no evidence” he “misused” restricted NSW Ambulance medications.
The review found NSW Ambulance carried out no routine tracking of Fentanyl usage; that weekly “integrity check” audits of Fentanyl and other restricted medications were lacking and varied from station to station across the state; that secure drug safes were “frequently not closed” and “a culture of trust and mateship” resulted in regular checking procedure “violations” and “routine deviation” from drug policies.