Edition 1504
08 December 2018
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Glare on Faro Hospital after nurses denounce Emergency ward ‘inadequacies’

by Carrie-Marie Bratley, in News · 11-01-2018 13:42:00 · 3 Comments

An unfavourable spotlight has been thrust on the Algarve’s Faro Hospital after a group of nurses denounced the ‘undignified’ conditions in which hospitalised patients are being kept in the unit’s emergency ward.

Glare on Faro Hospital after nurses denounce Emergency ward ‘inadequacies’

Shocking pictures of half-naked patients strewn on beds arranged rows-deep in a small hospital ward were published on a Facebook page over the weekend by the head of the country’s Nurses’ Board.
The anonymous group of nurses brought what they described as a “chaotic” and “deplorable” situation to the highest authorities’ attention, and said they won’t be held responsible “for any possible or future events that result in harmful consequences” for patients or family members.
The Health Minister passed the hot potato onto the Algarve Regional Health Board (ARS Algarve) to address, which responded by saying the images were not “unusual” for this time of year.
Speaking to newspaper Público, the head of the Nurses’ Board, Ana Rita Cavaco, said in her opinion the problems at Faro Hospital are “structural”, and the hospital “has many weak points”.
She added there are many other hospitals in Portugal also battling difficulties, such as the units in Gaia, Leiria, Coimbra, and the Santo António and São João hospital’s in Porto.
On Sunday, she shared images of the alleged “chaos” at Faro Hospital on the Board’s Facebook page, as well as the nurses’ statement in full.
In an impassioned account accompanying the images published over the weekend, Ana Rita Cavaco said: “Every day I fight against this disgrace. I am violently attacked for saying that the dignity of the people is in the trash with regard to the SNS.”
Paulo Moragado, president of the ARS, said the organism “does not identify with the pictures shared.”
According to the group of nurses, who want to remain anonymous, although the number of patients admitted has increased at Faro Hospital, human and material resources are increasingly scarce, which is one of the factors that has led to a “decreased quality of care” and “progressive degradation” of the ability to respond to adversity.
“At the same time, the number of patients admitted to the emergency room and their length of stay in the emergency room has also increased”, they add, stating that “the number of nurses scheduled for shift work has remained the same and in some cases has been lower than the stipulated minimum”.
According to the health care providers, the service has proved to be “incapable of meeting the needs of users, family members and professionals who work there on a daily basis”; a situation they claim has dragged on for over two years.
And although they admit that the origin of some of the problems is beyond the hospital management’s control, they say that the administration “has failed in defending the needs and interests of the population”.
The group said at times there are up to 80 patients in a room meant for 24, and “the ratio of nurses is never adjusted
accordingly”.
“The space and ratios to which they are subject do not allow the provision of quality care and are a broth of error. They are denied dignity. They are denied the right to eat (many do not eat just because they have no one to give them food). Many die alone. Alone, surrounded by so many people”.
Since the images and statement were released, ruffling feathers and causing ripples of disbelief throughout the wider community, the ARS released a statement saying it would be increasing the number of beds available in the region’s hospitals.
On Wednesday it said “The Algarve Regional Health Administration (ARS) is working to open another 27 hospital beds in the region, to cover the influx of patients, totalling 49 beds triggered under the seasonal contingency plan for winter.”
According to the statement, there are already 22 extra beds activated in the hospitals of Faro and Portimão, and now the ‘orange phase’ of the seasonal contingency plan is being activated to provide more beds.
Moreover, according to the ARS -Algarve, during the month of January, the expansion and reconversion of another 20 continuous care beds will be activated in Portimão and another ten in Azinhal (Castro Marim).

Comments

This Hospital has a diabolical crisis on its hands. If you intend to survive or be treated with dignity do not go there.
On 5/2/18 my father in law drove himself to Faro Hospital after being referred by a clinic in Quartiera. He had swollen legs and felt a bit run down. On Easter Monday he died of multiple organ failure.
He died alone, with no intensive care. The family at no stage were given any indication by the staff that he was in such a critical condition.
To date we have no diagnosis or any idea what was wrong with him. Treatment at best was akin to feeling around in the dark.
For the first 4 weeks my father in law was well enough to have undergone biopsies or more advanced tests but the hospital did none.
They thought he might have a kidney issue so began a course of steroid treatment. This left him confused and at times incoherent.
From that point on it felt as though staff had no idea what was wrong with him or had a plan or course of treatment to follow.
At every stage it was extremely difficult to get information from staff about what was going on or even if there was a treatment plan.
Friends and family had to constantly harass and pursue staff to get any information.
It was intimated that my father in law had picked up a hospital infection whilst there but again it was unclear from staff as to whether he definitely had or not.
In the last two weeks of his stay at Faro - the last two weeks of his life - his doctor went on holiday for one of them and no other doctor appeared to be assigned to looking after the absent doctors patients. my father in laws condition declined.
Not helped by the fact that unless he could sit up and feed and drink himself no one else would do it. On more than one occasion visitors found his food just left by his bed despite it being obvious he was in no fit state to feed himself.
In fact it is safe to say that apart from when visitors could be there he was left to just lie there unfed, with no fluids, a bloodied bag of urine attached to him and no monitoring of vital signs by medical staff whatsoever.
On more than one occasion friends had to practically beg for attention to try and get my father in law seen to or even made comfortable.
There has been no evidence whatsoever to contradict the fact that my father in law died in a terrible state with little or no care. There is no evidence to date that upon admission he even had a condition that could not have been treated and had him discharged long before contracting any infections. There is no evidence he even had an infection.
We were given no cause of death and had to insist on a Post Mortem to try and find out why he died.
The post mortem revealed no life threatening disease indicators but remarked that his stomach and bladder showed signs of stress - given that it is likely he was starved and dehydrated its no surprise. There has been no explanation as to why he had multiple organ failure.
Since his death there has not been one single attempt to contact the family from the hospital, no explanations, no condolences, the lack of contact from admission to now is disgusting and callous.
The post mortem was repeatedly put off and in the end we had to wait over a week to arrange a funeral and throughout this entire time the hospital made no attempt to contact the family.
Its an institution that should be ashamed of itself. If there are good people there they are being overpowered by a disgraceful and inhumane modus operandi being carried out by charlatans. If you intend to live do not go there.
by Andrew Cutbush from UK on 01-05-2018 04:57:00
Unfortunately this hospital still remains in the exact same condition right now. We have just experience a horrif visit at this hospital 23/04/2018.

Overcrowding rooms of naked patients. Beds bumper to bumper. No air, no light, no dignity. No care as staff tend to not understand English. Sharing drip stands. No pain relief, food or water. Flithy conditions.

We fear to travel abroad again, due to these conditions.
by Katie Carroll from Other on 27-04-2018 11:51:00
É triste ver seres humanos tratados como se fossem animais e mais infelizmente parece-me que este hospital nao e o único neste pais pois no hospital de leiria tambem me parece que graça a mesma falta de respeito em especial para com os mais idosos. Espero que as autoridades competentes venham a terreiro para por cobro a estes actos de pura indecencia.
by Carlos José Santos Craveiro from Other on 22-01-2018 08:00:00

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Edition 1504
08 December 2018
Edition: 1504

Read this week's issue online exactly as it appears in print.

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