Categorized | National News

Boarders Compound Challenges At PMH

The shortage of nurses at the Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) compounded with patients who have long been discharged are among many of the issues faced at the health care facility.

Hospital Administrator, Mary Walker confirmed on Friday that a shortage of nurses along with the fact that the hospital has some how branched into a hospice, has created a challenge for administrators.

“We are a tertiary facility, an acute care facility and the compounding of the issue of a discharged patient still occupying an acute care bed is very concerning for us, particularly as the number seems to be on the rise.

“We would have brought it to everyone’s attention when they were about 20 such persons. We are now approaching 40 such persons. And even in the emergency room, there are five persons who fall into that category,” Ms. Walker said.

Making an appeal to the public during a press conference concerning bed shortage, Ms. Walker said that it is urgent that patients who have been discharged are collected by family members.

“Yes, we are making an appeal to the public that if you know you have a relative here in the hospital, who you may not have visited for a while that you need to come and check that there are certain persons in the facility who are discharged, and we actually need the relatives to come and collect them.

“It is a very urgent need when you are talking about a health care facility responsible for acute care now branching into hospice care,” Ms. Walker said.

As for the shortage of nurses, Ms. Walker said that it compounds the issue of patients being seen.
“The shortage of nurses compounds the issue. We’re actually getting to the point now where the nurses are too tired to respond to the call.

“In fact, we are not in a position to open another virtual ward, because of this; we cannot staff it,” Ms. Walker said.

Ms. Walker did confirm however, that there are some improvements in the works to bring some relief to the challenges they face.

“There are currently projects on the way that will give us some relief, but we won’t see those marginal improvements until about four months.

“We have a ward that is currently being renovated and it is projected to be finished at about the end of April, that will only give us 24 beds. If we can move some of these boarders out potentially we have beds right away.

“The additional projects are at phases where they are confirming architectural drawings and funding and so they are a bit further away, but there are plans in place to increase the capacity,” Ms. Walker said.

As for staffing, Ms. Walker said that the hospital has brought back retirees and employed every Bahamian nurse that sought employment.

She also said indicated advertisement has gone out on the international market for additional nurses.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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