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New concerns over patients left in Abbotsford Hospital hallways

ABBOTSFORD (NEWS1130) – There are new concerns over frail elderly patients being left in the hallways at the Abbotsford Regional Hospital which opened just six years ago.

News1130 has spoken with several people who have used the hospital in the last few days or do so on a regular basis. They each noted that the hallways are never without several patients at a time.

“There was one lady upstairs who would sit in front of the nurses station all day because her bed was in the hallway, so she had nowhere to be, no privacy or anything,” explains Trina Enns.

One particular area of concern for many people is seeing elderly patients left next to the doorway in the ER.

“You basically sit there and freeze. I remember being stuck there myself for hours, high fever and shaking because I’m so cold,” says Enns.

“It’s kind of ridiculous because we just built this new hospital not too long ago and we have people in hallways and in front of doorways, people who are susceptible to pneumonia,” says one man whose grandmother was in a hallway for at least a whole day.

Fraser Health Response

Fraser Health’s Executive Director of Access and Capacity Optimization Tracy Irwin suggests it does happen. “At times we do have patients that need to be cared for in the hallway. We do try and move those patients into an in-patient room as quickly as possible,” says Irwin.

“When we do have to have patients in alternate locations we will try and bring in privacy screens or put them in a location that will allow them to have privacy and comfort and be out of the way of traffic and doorways. So we certainly look at that and will continue to.”

She says they are always looking at how to best optimize the space and tools they have.

“The Abbotsford site right now is working extensively with leadership, with clinicians including physicians to look at the demand they’re facing right now and to develop a plan for responding to the demand that we have.”