Hospital short on beds - Patient forced to sleep on chair with drip in hand

February 28, 2017
This 2014 photo shows patients at the St Ann's Bay Hospital in a most uncomfortable position while getting medical care.

A family is fuming after one of its members slept on a chair for two consecutive nights in the St Ann's Bay Regional Hospital after being admitted on the weekend.

Marcia Frater Waldron told THE STAR that her brother, Andre Frater, who suffers from hypertension and diabetes, had to sleep on a chair in the Accident and Emergency Department (A&E) of the hospital on Saturday and Sunday nights, while there was an IV (intravenous) drip in his arm.

"He was admitted on Saturday evening and he slept in the chair with the drip," Waldron fumed. "You can just imagine how uncomfortable that was."

Waldron said she asked a nurse, who was attending to Frater, if he would be given a bed.

"The nurse said that he would have to stay there until someone dies or is discharged," Waldron said.

"His boss came this morning (yesterday morning) and made arrangement for him to get a bed in the private section."

Director of Northeast Regional Health Authority, Fabia Lamm, confirmed that Frater slept on the chair. She said that the hospital is operating at a deficit because of renovation work being carried out on the male surgical ward.


Surgical ward


"The St Ann's Bay Hospital is a 300-bed facility but right now we are operating at a deficit because the surgical ward, which is a 45-bed ward, is out of use," Lamm said.

Lamm said that while the hospital is currently not able to fulfill its patients' needs to their liking, she asked the nurses to ensure that patients receive the best treatment for their illnesses.

"We ask for a weekly report to ensure that patients are still given their treatment while they are in the A&E," Lamm said.

The Gleaner newspaper in 2014 published an expose on the St Ann's Bay Hospital, which among other things, revealed that some patients had to sit on chairs even after being admitted.

At the time, senior medical officer at the facility Dr Nicole Dawkins said that the problem was not with the number of beds, but the limited space in which to situate them.

"It is not a bed issue; it is a ward space issue, which is why we had a ward expansion. It has not remedied the issue totally because there are still other issues as it relates to the use of beds. Up to this morning, we had about 12 patients who have been discharged but have not gone home. So that's one set of beds that is not turning over fast," Dawkins said in October 2014.

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