Abbotsford hospital patient’s daughter voices concerns about her care

Abbotsford Regional Hospital's quality of care is being called into question as more concerns surface. Kate Walker has the story.

Diana Brown says her 85-year-old mother Beverley Redmond is beginning to get the treatment she needs at Abbotsford Regional Hospital, where she was admitted over a month ago with an infection.

However, it’s been a long road getting there, as she says Redmond was transferred to Maple Ridge Hospital, then back to Abbotsford, and waited days in the hallway on a stretcher before getting a room.

“Hard to see someone you care about that much, basically be treated like … something in the way,” she said. “I was told ‘all the patients in the hallway meet a certain criteria. So it’s good she’s in the hallway, it means she doesn’t need as much attention as some people in the rooms.’ I really honestly couldn’t believe I was hearing that.”

A statement from Fraser Health says it has been seeing consistently high volumes at Abbotsford Regional Hospital.

“At times we need to place some patients in an overflow space to optimize care delivery to all patients. This decision is made thoughtfully and once our staff have carefully triaged patients and taken into account their specific care needs. Generally speaking, we will only place a patient in an overflow space when they are more mobile and expected to have a shorter length of stay in the hospital,” it said.

Health policy expert Andrew Longhurst says Abbotsford Regional Hospital was originally built under capacity without enough inpatient beds and too small to serve the community. He says, in order to address patient overflow, British Columbians need to reduce the burden on the health system with things they can control.

“Right now, the biggest thing we have control over is reducing the spread of infectious diseases that contribute to hospitalizations, and severe outcomes that make it more difficult for other patients to get the kind of acute care that they need,” he said.

Brown says her mother faced poor conditions. As she explains, her mother’s tray in the hallway was often pushed out of the way and out of reach, she was rarely taken out of her stretcher to move around, and she wasn’t cleaned as often as she should have been.

A similar story came from a Stage 4 cancer patient who told CityNews she was on one of more than a dozen stretchers that lined the hall — often with a lack of privacy — and had to help fellow patients with their food and water due to a lack of staff.

She claims her sheets weren’t cleaned throughout her stay.

Fraser Health says it is concerned to hear that patients and their families have been dissatisfied with care, and says it will implement necessary measures to improve the patient care experience.

“I cannot relax and trust that she will be taken care of. I need to be on it every day and I’ll do that … because I want her to get better,” Brown added.

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