Council votes against letter expressing concern over patient care

Sueann Musick
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PICTOU – A county councillor’s attempt to have a second letter sent to the Pictou County Health Authority over its care of patients has been denied.

Coun. Jim Turple said Monday during the regular council meeting that he received more information from a Pictou County resident concerned about lack of care patients on the Aberdeen Hospital’s fourth floor were receiving.

He said she stated patients were being left alone too long, not getting help with eating, washing or going to the washroom mostly because of staff shortages.  Turple expressed similar complaints at a meeting in May during which time council agreed to send a letter to the local health authority.

“The warden and myself had excellent care when we were in the Aberdeen Hospital, but if some are not receiving the care they should be receiving than something has to be done about that,” he said.

However, many of his fellow councillors didn't agree a second letter should be sent because they hadn’t received a response from the first letter and secondly such complaints paint the entire staff at the Aberdeen with the same brush.

“We have to be careful we aren’t labeling the entire Aberdeen Hospital as a bad group,” said Coun. David Parker. “There are many people there that work hard and do their best to provide a high level of care.”

Coun. Randy Palmer suggested that Turple speak directly with the administrator of the hospital to find out more about the situation before making it a public issue.

“Sometimes we overreact with one person,” he said. “We should get people to react themselves. There should be more investigation into this.”

Turple said he received a lot of phone calls from local residents after he brought up the issue a month ago and feels this warrants a second letter to the administration of the hospital to address these concerns, particularly asking what the staff-to-management ratio is at the Aberdeen Hospital.

In the end, the motion was defeated with only four councillors voting in favour of sending the second letter.

Organizations: Aberdeen Hospital

Geographic location: Pictou County

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