Nurses cry out

Workers at Psychiatric Hospital say it’s a ‘hellhole’

Alleging that they are working in a “hellhole” where they are ill-treated by management and threatened with suspension when they speak out, nurses at the state-run Psychiatric Hospital are pleading for better working conditions and more respect.

Speaking to Barbados TODAY on condition of anonymity for fear of victimization, a spokesperson for the employees said working conditions were now “dread” and they were frustrated.

“The hospital is very understaffed. Staff on wards are working four days a week and they have put a halt to lieu days, so now the nurses are burned out,” said the health official.

“Staff are fed up of working hard and being treated like slaves and talked down to . . . .The nurses at the Psychiatric Hospital are working in a hellhole . . . . We need an ease. Staff are being threatened and in some instances suspended from work when they have to stand up against the bad treatment,” the spokesperson added, emphasizing the “unsatisfactory” state of the working conditions.

The nurses also complained about not receiving uniforms in over seven years, being overlooked for training, and going long periods without being paid.

“Some staff have not been receiving salary for months and are being told that until acting officers receive their acting salary, they cannot receive theirs,” the spokesperson contended, adding that efforts by the trade union to meet with management on the workers’ grievances have so far proven futile.

Their complaints do not end there, however.

According to the nurses, lack of medical supplies and challenges with patients also feature on their list of grievances.

“It is bad enough that we are working under dread circumstances. We also at times have little or no medication to work with . . . . We often face injury on the job due to aggressive clients…and management has no pity or remorse for us,” the spokesperson lamented.

Barbados TODAY was also informed that the infirmary ward was rundown and employees were working in substandard conditions that include poor bathroom facilities. The spokesperson said staff also frequently fell ill.

When Barbados TODAY provided Director of the Psychiatric Hospital David Leacock with a list of the nurses’ grievances and claims, his only official response was “no comment.”

The allegations by the nurses came just days after Psychiatric Hospital Nursing Assistant Curtis Grimes claimed “unfair treatment” as well as “wrongful” detention by authorities at the Black Rock mental health institution last month. Grimes, who has been working at the hospital for the past 11 years, told Barbados TODAY he has retained attorney-at-law David Comissiong as his legal counsel and he is now threatening to sue the institution.

Leacock had also refused to comment on that matter, saying that “if Mr Grimes himself in anyway chose to share the information with you, that is his right as a citizen, but we in turn can’t divulge any information.”

9 Responses to Nurses cry out

  1. John Everatt July 21, 2017 at 12:38 am

    Wow I can’t imagine what it must be like to work there. I have heard such things in the past but this seems to be far worse. It is not hard to believe that this is the truth as there is a shortage of money from all ministries There is also a shortage of ministry oversight in most of the ministries so they probably do not know or are unaware or do not care. I hope that this will wake them from their slumber.

  2. Sheron Inniss July 21, 2017 at 5:54 am

    Eh eh the chickens coming home to roost. What u sow u eventually reap. Lord forgive me, but I don’t feel one bit for some of them.

  3. Rae July 21, 2017 at 10:07 am

    this issue has been going on for years !!!! its takes specialized training to deal with persons with mental health issues, frequent outburts and aggressiveness due to weaning from drugs , psychotic symptoms of a disease and other factors that put all staff at risk. add no pay for about 6 months at a time , no back pay of the months that they owe you , 12 hour shifts , no incentives , such as leiu days or extra pay when working bank holidays and overtime, plus extremely poor conditions for both patients and staff,no supplies to work with either, however expected to function at your optimum . it is a recipe for madness and diaster. the nurses also have to pull what little money they have to even buy soap for the patients to bathe , yet they are treated as though they are the problem. it is also sad to say that alot of this is happening at the district hospitals as well for years and nurses have been crying out for years , the public is only being made aware of the situation now because no amount of threats can stop anyone form speaking out when they have had enough. its always feels right to judge a situation from the outside but when you have to deal with it everyday it begins to play on your pysche. i pray something is done soon…. if ever.

    • hcalndre July 21, 2017 at 11:47 pm

      Rae, how can a work place that has a union, can the Shop Steward let these things go on for so long. If some of these work places, it is mandatory that every worker would have to be a member of the union or you can`t work things would be different. They are some yard fowls and lizards that are so anti union, saying to union members that they would go to work when the Union say to the members that they on strike. When a strike is called no workers are allowed on the premises but what do these anti union rabble rousers know of unions and the work place anyway.

  4. Gearbox1964 July 21, 2017 at 3:58 pm

    De whole country in a mess…including de madhouse.

  5. fedup July 21, 2017 at 4:25 pm

    The country gone mad;

  6. Belfast July 21, 2017 at 9:15 pm

    If the head is mad, then the whole country body is mad.

  7. hcalndre July 21, 2017 at 11:25 pm

    Bath rooms at all government entities are in a bad state, some years the National Stadium urinal, I don`t know if still that way, the Kensington Oval men`s rest room another place that wants fixing. I wonder why they uses galvanize instead of ceramic tiling.

  8. Othneal July 22, 2017 at 5:17 am

    This is a very sad state of affairs. It makes Barbados sound like a sound like a failed state.
    The true measure of a civilised society is the way it cares for it’s vulnerable members.
    This speaks volumes about the the quality / the competence, those who govern Barbados.


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