Trinidad and Tobago
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Nurses want new elevators at Mt Hope Women’s Hospital


Idi Stuart –

IDI STUART, president of the TT Registered Nurses Association (TTRNA), on Thursday lamented the malfunctioning of the two elevators serving the Mt Hope Women’s Hospital and the problems this has caused to its clientèle who are women at various stages of maternity/childbirth.

Newsday was unable to get any comment from the North Central Regional Health Authority (NCRHA) despite many phone calls but corporate communications officer Ryan Hamilton invited us to e-mail in our queries.

Stuart said the two elevators have been giving problems for the entire year.

“They have been going down regularly.”

He said typically, when the elevators go down, the repair company visits and restores them, but a few days later, they conk out again.

“This has been exacerbated by a waterline leak flooding the hospital. That caused significant damage to the elevator system.”

He said when both elevators are out, it prevents bedridden patients from moving. He said the birthing area is on the ground floor, and the malfunctioning elevators have caused problems for women to come down from the second floor to give birth and for pregnant women to go up to the wards.

“Management had to create a temporary ward downstairs.”

Stuart said a staff member had been injured when he/she was inside an elevator that had suddenly plunged. After that incident, other staff have been refusing to use the elevator even when it is purportedly functional. “Escorts are refusing to carry patients in the elevator, when it is back up, due to safety concerns.”

Stuart said the questionable elevators could be a major concern in the event of an emergency such as a fire that required the mass evacuation of pregnant women.

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“The staff are calling for new units to be installed,” he said.

Stuart said when only one elevator is working, it is also used as a service elevator for food and/or laundry, leading to concerns about health and safety.

Stuart said on his visit to the hospital last Wednesday, he had heard many complaints about the elevators. He said the hospital management had said it would call the repair company, but Stuart was not comforted, saying even after repairs the elevators soon conked out again.

Newsday tried by phone and text to contact NCRHA CEO Davlin Thomas without success.