The Levi Latham Health Centre faces severe understaffing, with the existing staff experiencing burnout.
This concern was voiced by a staff nurse who, during an interview with ANN, expressed discomfort with the current staffing situation at the hospital.
The Levi Latham Health Centre, situated in Mesopotamia, serves as a hospital, polyclinic, and Accident and Emergency (A&E) Unit.
According to the anonymous nurse, the polyclinic operates from 8 am to 4 pm, the A&E from 7 am to 7 pm, and the hospital functions 24/7, all with the same staff.
They highlighted that the night shift comprises two staff nurses and two nurse assistants. The current shift pattern involves one staff nurse and one nursing assistant working two consecutive nights, followed by another pair for the subsequent two nights.
“It has been several months now since we’ve been asking for new staff, because we are stretched,” they emphasised.
The nurse noted that on any given night, two nurses handle the night shift. To cope, nurses from nearby clinics like Calder, Evesham, Greiggs, and Richland Park assist, even as they manage their own clinics.
However, the nurse revealed that at The Levi Latham Centre, two staff nurses are on sick leave. Excluding the night staff, there are three nurse assistants and a Sister, along with a staff nurse on the day shift.
They claimed that the district supervisor has not provided additional staff to aid the centre, resulting in numerous difficulties and miscommunications. The centre is also tasked with covering ambulance duties for Stubbs Polyclinic.
The nurse disclosed that an email was sent to medical offices, notifying surrounding clinics that “Mespo would be covering for Stubbs.” However, Levi Latham Health Centre staff members asserted not receiving such an email, causing confusion and disagreements with Kingstown, who believed they were covering for Stubbs.
“We do not have it good in Levi Latham… right now we are short-staffed, the hospital staff is tired,” stressed the nurse.
They pointed out that when dissatisfaction arises with the service at Levi Latham, individuals often contact the Minister of Health, leading to pressure on the hospital to enhance its service.
“It is not fair… If we are burnt out, what can we do?” they emphasised.
According to them, the staff puts in their best effort, but disrespect from people is frequent due to their inability to fulfill duties caused by insufficient staffing.
ANN attempted to speak to Roger Duncan, Medical Officer of Health, on the issue but he informed us that he was unable to comment because he does not have information on the issue.