Some par­ents may have been de­nied use of bath­rooms

– Bus­ta­mante head

Jamaica Gleaner - - NEWS -

AFTER EX­PRESS­ING shock at news that some par­ents have been re­peat­edly de­nied ac­cess to bath­room fa­cil­i­ties at the Bus­ta­mante Hospi­tal for Chil­dren, head of the in­sti­tu­tion, An­thony Wood, has ad­mit­ted that it is pos­si­ble that some par­ents may have been mis­in­formed by hospi­tal staff who are un­aware of the fa­cil­i­ties.

At Bus­ta­mante, par­ents are al­lowed to stay in­def­i­nitely to help nurses and doc­tors ad­min­is­ter care to their chil­dren.

But an in­ves­ti­ga­tion by The Gleaner has re­vealed that sev­eral par­ents who have to stay overnight are forced to bathe outdoors be­cause hospi­tal staff con­stantly deny them ac­cess to bath­room fa­cil­i­ties.

Ini­tially, Wood said he had never re­ceived any for­mal com­plaint from par­ents who have been barred from us­ing bath­rooms, and said he was sur­prised nurses and other hospi­tal staff could tell par­ents that no bath­rooms were avail­able for them.

How­ever, in a fol­low-up in­ter­view, Wood ad­mit­ted that new staff mem­bers who may not have been aware of the bath­room fa­cil­i­ties could have pos­si­bly mis­in­formed some par­ents.

“We do have a high staff turnover, and some­times the in­for­ma­tion [about adult bath­rooms] may not get to them,” Wood ad­mit­ted.

BET­TER COM­MU­NI­CA­TION

In light of the claims made by the par­ents, au­thor­i­ties at the hospi­tal have vowed to use the op­por­tu­nity to con­duct a ro­bust re­view of their com­mu­ni­ca­tion pol­icy to en­sure they ad­e­quately in­form par­ents about bath­room fa­cil­i­ties.

“We will en­sure we get it out there, to talk to the par­ents and sen­si­tise them. We have cus­tomer ser­vice per­son­nel who are here 24 hours, and we will en­sure they get on their mic sys­tem and talk to the par­ents about the ser­vices we have. We will also en­sure that staff is aware of it [bath­room fa­cil­i­ties] so that the in­for­ma­tion can get out,” Wood as­serted.

In the mean­time, the Bus­ta­mante au­thor­i­ties are seek­ing to as­sure Ja­maicans that pri­or­ity is not given to par­ents from other Caribbean is­lands who use the hospi­tal.

A hospi­tal source who spoke to The Gleaner al­leged that a par­ent from over­seas was al­lowed ac­cess to bed­room and bath­room fa­cil­i­ties.

While ad­mit­ting that an over­seas par­ent re­cently stayed at the hospi­tal, Wood main­tained that Ja­maican par­ents have the same level of ac­cess to fa­cil­i­ties once they no­tify hospi­tal au­thor­i­ties.

“Whether Ja­maican or over­seas, if some­one needs to use a bath­room, we make it avail­able. But if some­one is com­ing from over­seas, we keep them close to the pa­tient be­cause the care might be ex­tended,” Wood said.

How­ever, hospi­tal au­thor­i­ties ad­mit that pri­or­ity is given to par­ents who re­side out­side of Kingston and St An­drew be­cause of lim­ited bath­room and bed­room fa­cil­i­ties.

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