(PRESS RELEASE) – It has finally happened; the Owen King EU Hospital is fully opened to the public.
Well, it is now official and there was no holding back the elation and emotions of staff as they ended one chapter to begin another. Victoria Hospital has officially transitioned to the OKEU Hospital. Even the Minister for Health could not hold back her sense of relief.
“I feel elated; I really feel elated today. I went to Victoria Hospital this morning and I saw the ambulances going and coming, picking up patients and so on, back and forth and it was really, really refreshing, it was exciting. It’s almost like you feel liberated that now we are out of Victoria Hospital and we are into our new hospital at our OKEUH.”
President of the St. Lucia Nurses Association, Alisha Baptiste, said this move left her nurses with bitter, sweet emotions.
“Because most of us were trained at Victoria Hospital and it has been our home for many, many years. So, leaving it this morning for me, it was really, really Déjà vu. But let me just say on behalf of our nurses that this is a move well over due.”
An energetic and highly motivated staff decked out in their respective team colours were busily implementing the action plan. They were first blessed, provided with breakfast and had a rainbow to guide their day.
Nancy Francis, Executive Director – Victoria Hospital
“You have the different teams. You have the transport team, you have the command team and you have the teams who would actually be moving the patients. So we are very happy this morning and we are ready to go.”
Dr. Christiana Nathaniel – Consultant, Internal Medicine
“We’re very happy about this move. At long last, we’ve waited a long time for it and we are going to make it work. It will work and things will improve.”
With the suspension of elective surgeries and outpatient clinics, VH had its smallest census of patients with only 45 patients to be transferred to the OKEUH. The move was successfully coordinated via a Command and Sequencing Centre manned at the Victoria Hospital, with a sub-command post at OKEU Hospital.
Transitioning Director – Dr. Lisa Charles
“This is the Command Centre at the Owen King EU Hospital and what we do here, we are responsible for ensuring that the patients are received safely and triaged to their appropriate ward and bed. So once the patient has left Victoria Hospital Sister Octave will get a phone call informing her the patient left and we then inform the wards here and the command post when the patient arrives.”
Medical Director at the Victoria Hospital, Dr. Alisha Eugene-Ford
“So if there are any issues on ground it is channeled up to us here in the Command Centre and if there is need for external support from Ministry of Health or other services or agencies we also contact them externally to come on board to ensure that move is successful.”
Pivotal in the move strategy was the order of patients to be moved managed from the sequencing centre. “We determine which patient goes next.”
This sequencing centre was managed by Nursing Director, Ruth Regis-Adesanya who orchestrated the overall move. She said the move was guided by the international criterial for patient move.
“So for the past two days we’ve been doing assessment of all the patients to be moved and to determine how to sequence them. What we’ve done is we’ve ensured that the hospital, whether it’s Victoria Hospital or OKEUH is not overwhelmed. So we’re only sending out from one unit only one patient at a time and receiving on any unit one patient at a time.”
By 12 noon on the move day twenty-two (22) of the forty-five (45) patients were already transferred to OKEUH.
“It’s been going very well. Exactly to plan…I know a lot of person though we would be under pressure and look like we’re ready to crumble and you don’t see that at all. So all of the years of planning and training has actually paid off.”
The Owen King EU Hospital has now experienced many firsts, from the first patients in the ICU, on the Wards and A&E. The first babies in the Special Baby-care Unit, the first surgery and a proud mother, Daria Peter, gives birth to the OKEU’s first bouncing baby boy, Darian Owen Peter. As a mark of respect, nurses lined the hallway at OKEUH to show respect to Sister Ruth Regis-Adesanya for her remarkable leadership in planning and executing the successful transitioning effort.