LINSTEAD: Hospital boss to reduce shameful bed shortage

Chief Executive Officer of Linstead Public Hospital, Paul McIntyre, said a steady increase in the number of patients using the medical facility has exacerbated the challenge being faced with the shortage of beds.

But he said plans are afoot to source additional beds, and to create space for more than the 42 beds that the hospital can now accommodate.

McIntyre made the promise after The Beacon reported observing cramped conditions at the hospital, where a number of patients Рincluding the elderly, spend nights and days in discomfort on folding chairs and wheelchairs.

In fact, nurses were seen treating one man who lay on a set of joined-up folding chairs in a passage, which was virtually packed with visitors and other patients.

ALSO READ: The elderly among patients sleeping on chairs at Linstead Hospital

McIntyre, who did not disclose how many beds are currently available at the hospital, admitted that there is a shortage.

“The hospital currently has a capacity of 42 beds and we are aggressively seeking to at least double that number before the end of this quarter based on the need,” he said.

“We will be renovating the maternity ward which has a capacity of 24 beds, and we also will be renovating the space which was previously occupied by the pharmacy to get at least another 20 beds.”

The mentioned pharmacy is now being housed in a new $31-million building opened in December last year on the hospital compound.

These are some of the photos captured, showing elderly patients sleeping on folding chairs and wheelchair at the hospital. People are not allowed to take such photos, and so these shown here do not reflect the gravity of the situation being experienced. Some patients sleep on chairs for days while they wait for the next available bed.

The hospital, in February last year, reopened its Accident and Emergency (A&E) Department following extensive renovation at a cost of $144.98 million.

With the improvement in A&E services and facilities, more persons are showing up for treatment, and so are pushing up the demand for beds, the hospital’s head told The Beacon.

“Since the opening of the new A&E, we have been having a steady increase in individuals served here, mainly because of the aesthetics and the service they receive.

“As such, we have been faced with a shortage of bed space. So patients who are waiting for admissions are treated on a stretcher or a recliner in A&E as they wait to be transferred to another hospital or for an available bed,” McIntyre further said.

By Horace Mills, Journalist


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