State Member for Wallsend, Ms Sonia Hornery MP, has criticised the Health Minister and Hunter New England Local Health District management for forcing staff to fundraise to provide facilities for family members who have children in the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit.
In November last year, Ms Hornery wrote to the Health Minister after a complaint by a local mother whose daughter was being treated at the John Hunter Paediatric Intensive Care Unit.
The complaint raised was round the lack of shower facilities for any family members who were staying in the ICU whilst there child was being treated. As a result of the lack of facilities, the staff were fundraising through a dinner and movie night to be able to self-fund the construction of a facility.
The John Hunter Paediatric Intensive Care Unit is one of the largest PICU units in the State and often patients who need intensive care are air lifted here from locations right across the State, so it is not possible for them to leave the Hospital and go home to freshen up.
A response from the Parliamentary Secretary for Health advised that parents were welcome to leave the PICU and use a shower located on a different level of the Hospital.
Ms Hornery has called on the Minister to provide a suitable solution to the problem and ensure there is an accessible shower available to parents who have children in the PICU.
Quotes attributable to Member for Wallsend, Sonia Hornery
“We have seen ongoing issues with the Hospital, with the air-conditioning outage over the weekend. The pressure is consistently put on staff to provide more and more for the patients.”
“Staff in the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit are now being forced to fundraise themselves to provide an accessible shower for parents and carers who have a child in the PICU.”
“The response from the Parliamentary Secretary for Health shows how out of touch the Government is by expecting parents to leave their child and walk to a different part of the hospital to shower.”
“Any parent who has a child in the Intensive Care Unit should not be expected to leave them for an unnecessary length of time.”
“Staff should not have to fundraise for this vital piece of infrastructure and the Minister and the management of the Hunter New England Health Local District need to ensure that parents have appropriate facilities at a time when they should be focused on their sick child, not on finding a shower.”