Hospi­tal closes the­atres


Comment News (Gosnells) - - Front Page - So­phie Moore

WAIT times for elec­tive surgery at Ar­madale Kelm­scott Me­mo­rial Hospi­tal will blow out be­cause the hospi­tal has shut five of its seven op­er­at­ing the­atres on Fri­days, ac­cord­ing to the Aus­tralian Med­i­cal Association WA (AMA).

An East Metropoli­tan Health Author­ity spokes­woman de­fended the change, say­ing ac­tiv­ity lev­els were un­af­fected since the hospi­tal con­densed elec­tive surgery to four days, be­gin­ning on Fe­bru­ary 6.

AMAWA president An­drew Miller dis­missed claims by the EMHA that op­er­at­ing theatre clo­sures were part of on­go­ing ef­forts to im­prove pa­tient ex­pe­ri­ence and hospi­tal ef­fi­ciency.

“For the EMHA to come out and say that the de­ci­sion would some­how im­prove the ex­pe­ri­ence of pa­tients is lu­di­crous,” he said.

“We know that cer­tain elec­tive surgery pro­ce­dures have wait­ing times of up to 12 months. Cut­ting all elec­tive surgery on Fri­days is not go­ing to im­prove that.”

He warned that staff mo­rale at the hospi­tal was at an all­time

low with nurs­ing staff fac­ing job losses, a claim the EMHS de­nied, say­ing theatre staff who nor­mally worked Fri­days would be re­de­ployed across the hospi­tal, with sur­plus staff given train­ing to im­prove skills.

“Theatre staff are not re­plac­ing any ward staff,” the EMHS spokes­woman said.

Dr Miller said hospi­tal ad­min­is­tra­tion made the de­ci­sion with­out con­sult­ing front­line staff.

“At no point were any of the gen­eral sur­geons asked to pro­vide in­put – they were sim­ply told that the de­ci­sion was go­ing ahead,” Dr Miller said.

The EMHA spokes­woman said staff were con­sulted, “as re­quired by their re­spec­tive heads of depart­ment”.

She said all of the re­spec­tive heads of depart­ment, nurse di­rec­tors, unit and sup­port ser­vice man­agers had in­put and were con­sulted re­gard­ing the change of theatre sched­ule.

“Theatre fo­rums were held for af­fected staff in Novem­ber and De­cem­ber 2016,” the spokes­woman said.

When asked if the changes were due to bud­get belt tight­en­ing she replied: “All hos­pi­tals must work within their al­lo­cated bud­gets.”

AMAWA president An­drew Miller says sur­geons were not con­sulted.

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