Falmouth Hospital benefiting from CRH’s misfortune
While not taking pleasure in the misfortunes of the Cornwall Regional Hospital (CRH), which is now struggling to rebound from a noxious-fumes issue that surfaced in 2016, stakeholders at Falmouth Hospital are nonetheless delighted with the spin-off benefits that the institution has been getting.
The Trelawny-based facility has become the western region’s primary government-owned hospital, transformed from 54 beds four years ago to a 220-bed institution, which has lifted it beyond its Type C designation as it is now offering many of the services once offered by CRH, which is a Type A facility.
According to businessman Kenneth Grant, who is chairman of the board at the Falmouth Hospital, he is delighted with the transformation, which fits perfectly in his plans to see the hospital officially upgraded to a Type B facility.
“I am overwhelmed at the transformation of the hospital. It brings joy to me when I see the improvement in general and, of utmost importance, the increase in the staff count as it relates to medical staff,” Grant told The Gleaner in a recent interview.
Pauline Dawkins-Palmer, the director of nursing services at the hospital, said the increase in the hospital’s staff complement has significantly lessen the burden to meet its obligations to patients.
“Our nursing staff count has increased by 18,” said Dawkins-Palmer. “They are assigned to different areas of the hospital. This will have a positive effect on the workload on the nurses here at the hospital.”
The increase in staff is not limited to nurses, as according to the hospital’s chief executive officer, Dr Leighton Perrins, additional doctors have also been assigned to the hospital.
“We have just received two additional doctors. This has increased our numbers to 23. Two others are expected shortly,” said Perrins. “This addition is good news for healthcare delivery. With more doctors available, the waiting time for patients to receive attention will be reduced.”
In noting some of the recent improvements that have delighted him, Grant expressed particular pleasure with the fact that they now have the new 36-bed COVID-19 ward and piped oxygen on the wards.
“A new 36-bed ward has been opened with all the beds piped for oxygen. A medical gas cylinder with a capacity to last three weeks has been installed,” said Grant. “The Minister of Health Dr Christopher Tufton is going to struggle to find an excuse not to upgrade Falmouth to a Type B hospital.”
As it relates to the Ulster Spring Hospital in southern Trelawny, which was closed down in the mid-1980s, Grant said he welcomes the news that the facility, which remains intact, could be brought back into service.
“Discussions are ongoing regarding how the facility can help provide healthcare to the residents of south Trelawny. It was thought at one time to prepare it for social patients who are costing the hospital $3,000 daily. This idea has been shelved, but the facility is expected to come on stream during this financial year,” Grant said.