According to the Gauteng health department, incidents of patients falls have significantly decreased since the steel beds were replaced.
The unused beds stored outside in the open at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital are in the process of being disposed of after the hospital’s management team took the decision to replace beds in the medical, surgical and maternity wards.
“It was necessary to replace the cot beds with the high-low beds to mitigate against patients falls and patients banging themselves against the steel structure of the [previous] beds,” Gauteng health department’s spokesperson Lesemang Matuka told Health-e.
The decision was made during the 2016/17 financial year and is in line with the “standard of managing compromised patients”.
Some South Africans – including Democratic Alliance’s Gauteng member of provincial legislature Jack Bloom – criticised the hospital’s storage of the old beds after a video made its rounds on social media over the weekend. According to Bloom, the video was taken last week on Wednesday by a man who was visiting his son in the paediatric ward. “Many of them look in good condition, but will deteriorate rapidly in unsheltered conditions,” he said in a statement released on Monday.
But Gauteng health head of department Professor Mkhululi Lukhele declined for the beds to be distributed to other health facilities in the province out of concern for the safety of patients. Incidents of patient falls have “significantly” decreased since the steel beds were replaced and more beds are still needed, said Matuka.
He explained: “[Professor Lukhele] has confidence in the competency of management of Baragwanath Hospital…The process of disposing of the steel beds has begun and is ongoing.” – Health-e News