Central Saanich woman files complaint after hospital put her in sunroom after surgery

Central Saanich woman files complaint after hospital put her in sunroom after surgery

A Central Saanich woman has filed a complaint after staff at Victoria’s Royal Jubilee Hospital put her in a sunroom after surgery. 

Sharen Fraser’s daughter Alicia Allen recorded a video earlier this week highlighting the missing elements from her mother’s room.

“Again, no washroom, no sink, and most notably, no nurses’ call button. So she spends her entire day blasted by the sun,” said Allen in the video.

Now, Fraser’s just happy to be back in her own bed at home.

“I’m so thankful and glad to be home,” she said. “Much better.”

Allen’s grateful her mother is out of the hospital. “Oh my god. Yes,” Allen told CHEK News.

This is the Frasers third knee surgery, so both knew what to expect for a hospital stay.

But Allen said her mother’s room lacked the basics, including a way to reach a nurse.

“I saw the button was on the wall,” she recalled. “But it’s just past the foot of her bed, on the wall. Completely out of reach.”

At one point, Fraser says she needed assistance but couldn’t get any help.

“On one occasion, I yelled for half an hour. Nobody came. Then I was phoning my son and saying, ‘What am I supposed to do?'”

When asked about Fraser’s concerns, Island Health issued a statement:

  • On occasion patients are cared for in temporary spaces when patients are stable, deemed medically fit for the space, and nearly ready for discharge. This could include sunrooms.
  • In these situations, we ensure the delivery of appropriate care and ensure the patient is informed and aware of their care plan.
  • We know these situations may not be ideal and apologize if this distresses a patient or their loved ones.
  • While Island Health cannot speak to specific patient details out of respect for privacy but in general, anyone who is concerned about their care or their loved ones’ care should connect with the Patient Care Quality Office. We are always concerned when the care received does not meet a client’s expectation and we take all complaints seriously.
  • It’s important to note that these situations are temporary, and each situation is carefully reviewed before placing patients in these temporary locations.

BC’s Liberal Health critic Shirley Bond called the situation unacceptable.

“This is just, unfortunately, another example of the healthcare system in crisis, when people don’t have a family doctor, when we have ERs that are closing. When we have hospitals that are overflowing, the system doesn’t work,” said Bond.

Both women say the staff and care Fraser received were excellent before and after surgery.

But recalling her experience, Fraser said it’s the system that’s in trouble.

“Being in the sunroom was very frightening, and I was very fearful of something happening to me,” she added.

Allen filed a formal complaint with the Patient Care Quality Office.

She’s hoping it will lead to positive changes.

WATCH: South Island hospitals operating at overcapacity, says BC Nurses Union

Mary GriffinMary Griffin

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