Princess Margaret Hospital gets elevator, renovated A&E
The new and improved Accident and Emergency (A&E) Department at the Princess Margaret Hospital in St Thomas that has been closed for renovations since January 2016 was declared open and ready for use on Thursday.
The project, which was introduced by the previous administration and financed by the National Health Fund to the tune of some $271 million, is expected to not only raise the standard of services provided at the hospital but to also create a better environment and improve the efficiency of the staff who deliver said services.
Admitting that the completion of the development was delayed, Minister of Health and Wellness Dr Christopher Tufton, who delivered the main address, described the now-finalised infrastructure as state-of-the-art.
“The truth is that we are about a year overdue and that’s not very positive, but it’s here now and we are celebrating its completion, and this is truly a first-class facility, thanks to the architects. I have no doubt that the citizens of this parish will see this enhanced facility as quite useful and it will tap into the overall development of the parish,” he said.
The overall scope of work done at the Princess Margaret Hospital included the expansion and renovation of the A&E Department to include four examination rooms, the separation of the medical records, filing and office spaces, addition of minor operation room with recovery area for those who require immediate surgical intervention, an isolation area complete with three rooms, sanitary facilities for patients and staff, a lounge area and an additional 10 A&E beds.
The project also included the acquisition and installation of an elevator, the procurement of surgical instruments and the upgrading of the electrical system.
In addition to the opening of the A&E Department and the commissioning of the elevator, Tufton spoke of the introduction of the ministry’s Compassionate Care Programme at the facility.
According to the minister, “This infrastructure has to be supported by people, and in any organisation, private or public, our people remain our most important resource. It’s one thing to have all these facilities, but if we’re not giving the level of service quality then it comprises the perception and the reality of patients’ experiences. Today, we are going to unveil the first component of the Compassion Care Programme here at Princess Margaret.”
Tufton explained that the programme seeks to improve the aesthetics of waiting areas, state of the bathrooms, consistent running water, clean and comfortable seating area, the display of health information on the walls made available while patients wait to be served, and the promotion of the patients charter of rights and responsibility.
He added that the programme will also see to the training of front-line staff to be more patient-friendly, showing empathy and delivering service with compassion.
“These are the things that are sometimes taken for granted that should be the norm and not the exception. So the Compassionate Care Programme is really a customer service programme,” Tufton said.