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QEH: It’s just a bottleneck

BARRY ALLEYNE, [email protected]

QEH: It’s just a bottleneck

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The Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) doesn’t have a bed shortage.

What the island’s state-owned medical facility does have is an issue with the slow movement of elderly patients from the facility after being treated, which is causing a backlog on the already filled wards at the Martindale Road, St Michael facility.

The hospital is making that clear in response to an article which appeared in last week’s Sunday Sun that revealed the QEH would soon be expanding the Accident & Emergency (A&E) Department as more elderly persons seek medical care there.

“There is no shortage of beds. The QEH has 519 bed spaces at present. However, the problem is the elderly for care who are admitted, treated, and cleared for discharge, but continue to utilise hospital beds while awaiting discharge into a relative’s care,” the hospital’s corporate communications specialist Lyn-Marie Deane said.

“The solution to the problem requires that elderly patients who have been cleared for discharge are returned to their homes and the care of their relatives,” Deane added.

“This will result in decreased wait times in the A&E Department and allow for the efficient transition of patients from A&E to the QEH’s in-patient facilities.”

The hospital confirmed there were currently 20 people who had been treated at A&E and admitted to the QEH and remained warded there, but not in the Emergency Department. (BA)