AN ENGINEER and former patient has slammed the conditions at Tamworth hospital’s rehabilitation unit, deeming it the “forgotten place” amid the $220 million redevelopment.
Bill Bryan, who was learning to walk again in rehab after suffering a rare autoimmune disease, said he was shocked by the conditions.
“The hospital administration of the rehabilitation facilities is appalling,” Mr Bryan said.
He said the staff themselves were not to blame but were repeatedly overlooked in their appeals to hospital management.
“The staff do their best ... I felt very sorry for the rehab staff,” he said.
During his treatment, he claims two sewage leaks ran across the floor, closing the gym for seven days.
He said the closure “most definitely” disrupted crucial gym plans for recovering patients.
If it rained, he said staff would frantically scramble to put as many as eight or 10 buckets out.
Mr Bryan said the condition of the rehab unit was astounding, given the brand new hospital facilities, which he has toured and believes are “remarkably advanced”.
“It appeared to me to be the forgotten place,” he said.
“I’m a senior engineer with 40 years’ experience.
“If this had occurred anywhere else, the whole unit would have been shut down.”
Tamworth hospital general manager Brad Hansen said plans were in place to repair the rehabilitation gym ceiling, after it was damaged during a storm in May. “Regrettably, the drain in the gym overflowed recently, due to a blockage in the pipe, and was fixed the same day,” Mr Hansen said.
“Cleaners were brought in to clean the area and, over the week following, Infection Prevention and Control staff were consulted to ensure the gym was safe for patients and staff.
“During this time, staff provided rehabilitation physiotherapy to patients in their rooms, in the unit’s corridor and in the dedicated serenity garden.
“Further work will be done this week to reduce the likelihood the drain will become blocked or overflow in future.
“We’re very sorry for the disruption this caused our patients and staff, and appreciate their patience as we undertake the additional work.”
Mr Hansen detailed a number of improvements that have been made to the rehabilitation ward in recent years to the tune of $80,000, including new reverse-cycle airconditioning, new roofing, new flooring in patient rooms, a new nurses’ station and awning over the ward driveway.