UPDATED: Trout River woman says there’s not enough staff at Western Memorial

Diane Crocker dcrocker@thewesternstar.com
Published on February 3, 2014
Western Memorial Regional Hospital.
Geraldine Brophy

CORNER BROOK  A Trout River woman who spent just over eight days in the emergency room overflow at Western Memorial Regional Hospital doesn’t think there’s a lack of beds at the city hospital, but rather a lack of staff.

Edna Sheppard, 89, is the second person to speak out about conditions at the hospital in the last few days. On Monday, Sheppard was waiting at her brother’s house in Summerside to get a bus back home to Trout River.

She was first brought to Western Memorial on Sunday, Jan. 19, and admitted with a lung infection. She was discharged the next day and went to her brother’s home, but on Tuesday had to be taken back to the hospital via ambulance.

Once again she was admitted but, with no available beds, was placed in the overflow area of the ER.

“I can’t tell you what I first thought of it because I was too sick,” she said, but added as she began to come around, she was none too happy with where she was.

With a history of angina and a pacemaker, Sheppard feels she should have been sent to the cardiac floor.

“Oh my dear, it was horrible. Horrible, horrible.”

Just as Marketa Neilson reported in Monday’s Star, Sheppard said there were 10 people in the area with only curtains separating them. She said there was no privacy, only one washroom and nowhere to shower.

Sheppard also found the room cold and kept her coat on the first night and slept in her day clothes another two nights.

Having no access to a phone was the worst of all, she said.

“No one knew if you were dead or alive unless they come in.”

While her son did drop by to check on her often, Sheppard didn’t want him staying long.

“So I battled it out alone.”

Last Thursday Sheppard was transfered out of the overflow to a room on the second floor with three other people. She was discharged on Friday.

While in the overflow, Sheppard had heard that there was a lack of beds and even sent her son to check it out. She said he found one empty bed on one ward and four on another. So she thinks the problem is not a lack of beds.

“The problem is they haven’t got the staff to put there,” she said. “I think they need a lot more staff. Because the poor little things they got there, I don’t know how they’re surviving. They’re worked and reworked.

“I can’t blame it on the staff, they were extremely good. But I do blame it on the management.”

(Earlier story)

CORNER BROOK  A Trout River woman who spent just over eight days in the emergency room overflow at Western Memorial Regional Hospital doesn’t think there’s a lack of beds at the city hospital, but rather a lack of staff.

Edna Sheppard, 89, is the second person to speak out about conditions at the hospital in the last few days.

On Monday Sheppard was waiting at her brother’s house in Summerside to get a bus back home to Trout River.

She was first brought to Western Memorial on Sunday, Jan. 19, and admitted with a lung infection. She was discharged the next day and went to her brother’s home, but on Tuesday had to be taken back to the hospital via ambulance.

Once again she was admitted, but with no available beds was placed in the overflow area of the ER.

“I can’t tell you what I first thought of it because I was too sick,” she said.

But as she began to come around, Sheppard was none too happy with where she was.