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Housing options inadequate for Sinclair after amputation inquest told

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It was difficult for hospital staff to find a home for Brian Sinclair so he could be discharged after recovering from his double leg amputation.

Leonard Koberstein, then a Health Sciences Centre social worker who worked on Sinclair's discharge plans, testified at an inquest today that there are few housing options available for people who have the needs Sinclair had.

"There's a lack of resources for people in a similar position to Mr. Sinclair," Koberstein told provincial court Judge Tim Preston.

"It can make discharge planning very challenging at times."

Koberstein said Sinclair was rejected for housing by organizations like the Salvation Army because he needed wheelchair accessible housing and he couldn't live independently.

Koberstein said when Sinclair was discharged from hospital on May 2, 2007 -- three months after being rushed to HSC suffering severe frostbite to both legs after being found frozen to the outside wall of a church -- he was on his way to only temporary housing at the Quest Inn with enhanced home-care services organized under the care of the public trustee.

Keri Ranson, of the Public Trustee's office, said Sinclair was approved by the province's employment and income assistance office to live in Quest Inn for three months after his hospital discharge at $1,300 per month.

Ranson said Sinclair was also given $258 per month for personal expenses including $12 for laundry.

She said when Sinclair died he had about $5,000 left in his trust account.

The inquest is looking into the circumstances around the death of the 45-year-old Sinclair in September 2008.

Sinclair was found dead of a bladder infection after being untended for 34 hours in the waiting room of the HSC's emergency department.

 

Kevin.rollason@freepress.mb.ca

History

Updated on Tuesday, August 13, 2013 at 11:35 AM CDT: Updates with testimony from Kim Ranson

1:55 PM: Corrects name to Keri Ranson

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