A state-of-the-art connector tunnel was built to ease access for ailing seniors to get from the long-term care facility to the Cypress Regional Hospital in Swift Current, but that isn’t exactly what is happening according to a local woman.
Some families are finding that the connector tunnel is locked most of the time and there are no staff members working who know the security access code on the doors that link the two facilities.
Natasha Martens discovered this situation when her grandfather had to be moved from the long-term care facility to the hospital in mid-December. When the time came to move him, the connector was closed.
The only choice was to put her ailing grandfather in a car and drive the half a block to the hospital entrance, but his medical frailty meant that wasn’t feasible. Or the Martens family could pay $250 for an ambulance to travel the same short distance.
“I’d like them to figure out if someone wants to use this hallway, a plan to make that happen, it is not rocket science it should be simple enough to do,” Martens told 980 CJME. “It was just ridiculous that at this stressful time we couldn’t use this tunnel or hallway.”
Sadly, Martens’ grandfather died before the family could make a decision, but she wants to see changes anyway to ensure this predicament doesn’t keep happening to other families.
In an email, the Saskatchewan Healthy Authority confirmed it is reviewing the situation and looking into what process is best.
“We will be developing an official policy that will provide guidance to staff, patients and family members of patients,” the email stated.
It goes on to say that transfers of patients do take place between the two facilities currently but “that determination is made on a case by case basis by professional nursing staff, based on the patient’s medical stability.”
It isn’t clear when the review will be complete.
Martens first told her story live on John Gormley and Premier Brad Wall, and Swift Current MLA, called in to say he heard her story and would look into the matter.
Shortly after, Martens received a call from the Ministry of Health.
The hospital in Swift Current opened in 2007 and the Meadows long-term care facility opened in 2016.
An earlier version of this story said the hospital opened in 2016 this has been corrected to clarify that it was the long-term care facility that opened last year.