Too much pressure on A&E, warns official

The Accident & Emergency Department (A&E) at the state-run Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) is being stretched to the limit.

Senior Registrar in the department Dr Joanne Bradford gave this assessment at the QEH’s accountability meeting last evening, saying: “We are seeing sicker patients, doing more for patients with the same number and in some cases reduced numbers particularly of the nurses who require specialized skills to do what they have to do.

“And I think that while we are hard on our nurses I think that they are doing an exceptional job given the circumstances that they have to work under.”

She said another major challenge was abandonment of the elderly.

“And when I say abandoned in a department I don’t mean for a day or two days or even a week. We have had patients who have been left in the Emergency Department for the greater part of a year. And that is one bed taken up for that entire time,” she said.

Dr Bradford pointed out that the hospital was often filled to capacity, and A&E could have at least 20 patients in a day to be admitted, the majority of whom are suffering from internal medical conditions and surgical conditions.

She also cautioned against use of the department for non emergency cases and using the example of asthmatics, she said “some of the asthmatics they come to A&E, they may be wheezing yes and that is what we’re there for, we’ll see you for the wheezing.  But some come really because they want their prescription filled.  Some will tell you point blank that they don’t have a doctor, the Emergency Department is their primary care physician,” she said.

Dr Bradford made it clear that she was not seeking to prevent patients from seeking care at the department, however she would like them to be more discerning when seeking medical attention.

“You’re not going to call the ambulance to come to the emergency department to get a prescription filled, and patients do that. That is use of a valuable resource where there’s a person who is probably having a heart attack who can’t get an ambulance to come to the emergency department,” Dr Bradford said.

4 Responses to Too much pressure on A&E, warns official

  1. Tony Webster October 22, 2016 at 5:44 am

    Dread days, for real. Unfortunately, there’s politics in most things here…make that , in everything herabouts and nowabouts.
    “Management” of this a fledgling nation, by those brave and able sould who assumed the reigns of power, was in general, excellent. Airports and sea-ports were built; public housing was undertaken; free education was dispensed, and it was done with level and responsible heads, and a sesne of propriety. Such progress was helped i no small way by an excellent infrastructe; good roads, water; electrictity ; telecommunications; medical services etc etc.

    Then, things strarted to go awry. With no “parental hands ” near-by to sanction unruly behaving kids, , total freedom went straight to our heads: there was nothing that was beyound the pale of acceptable behaviour. We used to hang murderers; throw dat out. The Civil Service worked. Unions came ( NB: I support unions, please); but they too, joined the political game, and are now but capricious players in the game. Whomsoever we blessed wid our votes, could do as dem damn well pleased.

    The rule of the fatted Calf, had come. It remains…and “anything goes”

    Now….we reap the fruits, of the bitter tree. We are almost out of options, and it is time time to pay the piper.

  2. Alex Alleyne October 22, 2016 at 9:33 am

    “You’re not going to call the ambulance to come to the emergence department to get a prescription filled”, and patients do that.
    A BDS$75.00 fee should be charged to all those who do such a thing.

  3. Donild Trimp October 22, 2016 at 4:21 pm

    I am sorry to say this but the Accident & Emergency Department (A&E) at the state-run Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) is a disaster pure and simple.

    There is no other way to describe this pathetic department. It is inefficient and the people working there do not exhibit the type of professionalism one would expect from a Hospital’s Emergency Department.

    I am in a position to make the above statements because I experienced the embarrassing situation at that pathetic Emergency Department during one of my stopovers in Barbados earlier this year.

    What a joke that place is.

  4. Hal Austin October 23, 2016 at 2:40 pm

    Relieve the pressure by creating fully staffed geographically placed walk-in emergency clinics.
    The problem i having a single accident and emergency hospital.


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