High patient volume at Halifax hospital causing concerns for NSGEU
Exceptionally high patient volumes over the past two weeks in the emergency room are causing a problem at Halifax’s largest hospital.
Staff members have had to put two patients in a private room at the Halifax Infirmary, separating them with paper or a sheet for privacy. That means two patients in a room with only one call bell and other medical equipment.
Brian Butt, the director of Nova Scotia Health Authority Health Services, says to his knowledge, they have only had to do that once so far and says it's a last-resort measure done only when they are severely over capacity.
“Some patients would not be able to go in a co-space in a private room because there is not the equipment there,” said Butt. “Some patients can because they need a different kind or a different level of monitoring.”
The Nova Scotia General Employees Union (NSGEU) says it is a cause for concern.
“My main concern is what my members have been telling me, the safety of the patients and the workload issues that they have because they have so many extra patients,” said NSGEU president Jason MacLean.
There are typically between 130 and 160 patients in the emergency room on any given day, but there have been more than 200 over the past two weeks.
CTV News has learned the hospital is not currently in a code census right now, which is declared when the ER is overcrowded.
The union is currently meeting with nurses to discuss the issue.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Kayla Hounsell.