"Inadequate staffing over weekends"
About: The Townsville Hospital The Townsville Hospital Douglas 4817
Posted by PO-OCT12 (as ),
My elderly parent has a stroke recently, and spent 2 weekends in the acute stroke ward of The Townsville Hospital. While the level of care during the week was good, over the weekends the number of staff working ( all staff - nurses, nursing support, therapists and doctors) appears to drop dramatically to perhaps 20% of weekday levels. As a consequence, I believe patients requiring assistance or attention have to wait long periods - sometimes many hours - in considerable discomfort.
I feel doctors are obliged to plan for the lack of staff by taking precautions such as having gastric feeding tubes inserted on a Friday, which would be unnecessary if staffing levels were adequate. Therapy (physio, or, speech) is postponed until the Monday.
I think it is ridiculous to talk about "patient-centred care" when it appears every weekend patients are systematically given very different ( and inadequate ) care compared to weekdays. In a country when the retail and hospitality industries can provide 7 days service, the medical industry is out of step.