Tuesday 14 July, 2020

Five changes to QEH by November 15 to improve service, standards

Queen Elizabeth Hospital (FILE)

Queen Elizabeth Hospital (FILE)

Plans are underway to bring relief to persons utilising the medical, surgical, clinical and treatment facilities at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH).

With an emphasis on reducing wait times experienced from time of arrival to being seen by a doctor, the Health and Wellness Minister is assuring Barbadians that better service quality and standards are ahead and not in the distant future.

With the first injection of funds from the Health Service Contribution due around November 15, 2018, persons can expect improvements at the lone public tertiary care institution from now, with many in place by the times those monies arrive.

Lt. Col. Jeffrey Bostic gave this assurance during Parliament this week as he made his contribution during the debate on the National Insurance and Social Security (Amendment and Validation) Bill, 2018.

Here are the five (5) changes he said people can look forward to in short order to bring quick ease.

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1. A new triage station

An additional triage station will be added and it will be physician-led. This should "reduce the time from when a patient arrives at the door till when they are seen by a doctor."

2. Minor cases unit

A Minor cases unit is coming to the QEH. A patient will go to triage and if they are not an acute-case patient, they will be transferred to the minor unit where they will be seen, treated and either discharged or admitted accordingly.

3. A discharge lounge

There will be the establishment of a discharge lounge at the QEH.

The Health Minister said today we have situations where people are discharged officially in the morning but have to wait to get medication or have to wait on relatives on the wards, in beds, taking up bed-space, critical bed space" for the hospital and Accident and Emergency (A&E). "This will be implemented shortly and bring some relief."

4. An Observation ward

"The Observation ward is to complement and supplement what is happening at A&E. These people occupy beds in short supply." He said, the bed shortage also poses problems for ambulances because in the absence of available beds, sometimes patients or victims must lie on the ambulance stretcher while awaiting attention at the hospital. "The Observation ward would alleviate problems... and create further room in A&E."

5. Trained patient advocates

"We need to do some retraining to make them [patient advocates] more effective because they are expected to interact and interface with the general public and make life easier for the public," added Minister Bostic.


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