Lionel Town Health Centre on the mend
The extensive renovation of the Lionel Town Health Centre in Clarendon has breathed new life into the facility located on property housing the Lionel Town Public Hospital.
"The structure itself has changed," public health nurse Valerie Sharpe pointed out. "The waiting room was much smaller and so patients would sit facing each other, knees almost touching, and on a Thursday, when you have the STI (sexually transmitted infections) clinic and the postnatal, the place would be overrun with people."
Since the refurbishing of the building, attendance has skyrocketed as the spacious, well-lit and ventilated waiting room now easily accommodates all the patients.
Rhonda Stewart, who was at the health centre with her three-month-old daughter, Daniella Edwards, when our news team visited, underscored the improvements.
Stewart, who visited the health centre as a child in the care of her mother, recalled her memories of the old waiting area. "It was old and it used to be hot - dark and hot."
Today, circumstances under which Stewart's child is being treated have significantly improved: "It is much more comfortable, it looks better and you have more space," said Stewart.
The marked improvement in healthcare delivery has had much to do with the transformation of the once dilapidated building, the improved aesthetics and the acquisition of modern equipment which have helped engender a more pleasant environment.
Sharpe, who has worked at the health centre since 2011, remembers the way things were before the $28.5 million investment by the European Union under the Accompanying Measures for Sugar programme aimed at assisting the Government with the implementation of its Sugar Transformation Programme.
According to Sharpe, the clinic was located in one hot, dark room of the abandoned paediatric ward and had sanitary conveniences that were less than ideal.
"We had just one bathroom for patients and one for staff and the partition didn't go all the way up. So if a client was in there and wanted to climb up, they could do that and look over at you," said Sharpe.
Today, with the improvements, the health centre is attracting patients from neighbouring communities, and with good reason.
"[The] Patient count is up with clients coming from Race Course and Raymonds and they are more comfortable here, especially over at the maternity and healthcare clinics. This has resulted in the health centre being more utilised, and in the process, it has boosted staff morale because of the aesthetics which make for better working conditions," said Sharpe.
Things are definitely on the mend at the Lionel Town Health Centre and projections are that the improvements will allow for the necessary staff boost to facilitate additional services.