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Senior who waited 53 hours for hospital bed to make complaint

King Edward VII Memorial Hospital (File photograph)

A 76-year-old man who was left waiting for an inpatient bed for more than two days at the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital is to make an official complaint about what he went through.

The man’s wife, who does not want to be named to protect the couple’s privacy, said they were taking the action for the sake of the rest of the island.

She said that while her husband was waiting 53 hours for a hospital bed, one meal was left beside him even though he was not able to feed himself.

The patient also suffered a bed sore and staff had to be asked to change a diaper for him, his wife said.

She told The Royal Gazette: “My husband was left in the Emergency Department for two and a half days, people shouldn’t be subjected to that.

“This hospital is for every one of us, and that is why we are going to make a formal complaint about what happened.

“We have to complain for the sake of the island. This should not be a party political issue.” She claimed that the hospital “has been going down hill for a long time, and we all know that”.

She branded comments by Kim Wilson, the Minister of Health, regarding the situation as “ridiculous”.

At an event last week, Ms Wilson did not speak about the specific case, but said that bed blocking was a major problem at the hospital.

The minister said: “Unfortunately, we have a challenge with people who won’t take their loved ones home when they are ready to be discharged.”

Referring to people in the Emergency Department, Ms Wilson added: “So, unfortunately, the two days, they are not waiting for service, they are waiting for a bed.”

However, the man’s wife told The Royal Gazette: “The minister’s comments were just ridiculous.

“It is not about bed blocking. They don’t seem to have a shortage of beds, they seem to have a shortage of staff.

“There is space that they can use for beds. There is a solution – they just don’t do it.”

Yesterday a Bermuda Hospitals Board spokeswoman said: “All our acute and intensive care beds are available. Staffing is not impacting those beds."

The BHB had previously urged the family to lodge an official complaint about what happened.

The move comes after The Royal Gazette revealed that on one day last month people admitted to the emergency department had to wait 33 hours on average for a bed.

The BHB warned in March that it will struggle to maintain its facilities or to pay a basic cost-of-living increase to its staff because government funding is not keeping up with medical inflation.

The BHB, which is $16 million short of the funds promised to it by the Government in 2019, said that even if the Government made good the shortfall, failures to increase the spending cap meant that it had received a single 1 per cent increase in five years.

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Published May 18, 2023 at 7:55 am (Updated May 18, 2023 at 7:26 am)

Senior who waited 53 hours for hospital bed to make complaint

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