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‘Always noise’: BC senior spends 9 days in hospital corridor due to overcrowding | Globalnews.ca

A Vancouver Island senior says no one else should have to endure what he recently experienced at Victoria General Hospital.

Eric Roberts, 87, spent nine days in the hospital hallway after being admitted Feb. 24 with an infection.

There were no rooms available, so Roberts was left in the hallway, where the lights were on and people were moving around 24 hours a day.

“After about three days, they moved me to the hallway because someone had to get closer to the bathroom,” Roberts told Global News.

“And then I found myself right next to the nurses’ station. And it was a very busy time.

He ended up staying in the hallway for a total of nine days.

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“After eight days, they said, ‘We have a room for you,’” Roberts said.

“And I got a room by the window, and friends started visiting me, and the next morning (they said), ‘I’m sorry, but there’s someone who deserves this more than YOU.’ And back to the hall. And the only thing they could say was, “Well, you’re closer to the exit,” but there was still noise, and you don’t care who’s looking at you after a while , because, I mean, you just want to get out. and there’s no TV there, so you’d better have a tablet or something.


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Eric Roberts spent nine days in the hallway of Victoria General Hospital. Here’s a photo of him next to one of the paintings hanging in the hallway.

Submitted to Global News

Eric Roberts’ bed in the hallway of Victoria General Hospital.

Submitted to Global News

Roberts said the nurses were lovely to him and constantly apologizing, but one day he had to move his food tray seven times to allow people to move the equipment down the hallway.

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“And then the guy who was getting rid of the trash came along, and he had to park his cart right in front of my bed and emptied 15 bags of trash from the room onto his cart.”

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In a statement to Global News, Island Health said it could not speak to specific patient cases, but anyone with concerns about their level of care should contact the Office of Patient Care Quality.

“Hospitals across our region – and across British Columbia – are incredibly busy and capacity issues are an ongoing challenge,” the statement said.

“We never turn away patients and our goal is always to provide high-quality, culturally safe care in an environment of continuous improvement. When our sites are extremely busy, sometimes some patients are treated in temporary locations, such as in hallways. We know this is not ideal and we apologize.

“These situations are temporary while patients await transition to a unit or room, and we ensure the provision of appropriate care and appropriate staffing levels. »


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Roberts said he was confused to see other patients walking out and then others moving into rooms, but he stayed in the hallway.

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“I’m definitely not a retired senior citizen, so it was pretty tough being stuck in the hallway,” he said. “I’m addicted to pottery and have three more years to go.” I said, everyone, I’ll do it until I’m 90.

Asked about Roberts’ situation, Premier David Eby said it was hard enough being sick and having to undergo treatment, “but having to stay in a hallway doesn’t meet the standards of any B.C. in terms of care you should enter in this province.

“Our healthcare system is under considerable pressure. Population growth in this province has been massive. And our post-pandemic wave of retirements has really left those who keep our hospitals running stressed and overworked.

Eby said he was disappointed that Roberts had to go through this experience.

Dan Levitt, B.C.’s new seniors advocate, told Global News that health care demands generally increase for adults aged 85.

“As we know, the current baby boomers are 78 years old in terms of where the population is going,” he said.

“Today, the oldest baby boomers are 78 years old. So over the next 10 years, we’re going to see this population move through this cohort, move into an age category where there’s going to be a lot more demand for health services as this population moves into their 80s and 90s. »

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