It’s been a trying seven days for the administration at St. Thomas-Elgin General Hospital.
A week ago Friday, the hospital was the victim of a watermain break that forced a shutdown of water to the west wing of the facility, which includes the emergency department.
Hospital spokeswoman Cathy Fox alerted the Times-Journal to the situation shortly after the break was discovered.
What she did not inform the media about was the issuance of a boil water advisory later in the day.
To be fair, the order was issued Friday evening, but as of this past Monday morning, not a peep from her office on the advisory issued by Elgin St. Thomas Public Health.
By that time, this corner was in possession of a copy of the order and reporter Nick Lypaczewski was able to pursue the matter with Fox.
Again, to be fair to STEGH, the health unit did not post the advisory on its website, as would be expected.
Then, on Wednesday, St. Thomas firefighters were called to the hospital to mop up after a hazardous material spill in the main floor lab.
While relatively minor in nature, not a peep from the PR department.
In a web only item posted after the watermain break, this corner suggested the water disruption is not the only headache hospital administration is currently dealing with.
City Scope is investigating whether there are possible equipment problems in the operating room, specifically with what is known as a C-arm that is reportedly over 12 years old.
And, in what may be an ongoing situation, the autoclaves used for sterilizing operating room equipment apparently are not fully functional and, as a result, procedures may have been cancelled in the past and equipment to be sterilized was sent to Tillsonburg via taxi.
The sterilizers were again impacted last Friday due to the watermain break and there are no backups.
Fox posted the following comments on line this week.
“No surgical procedures were cancelled at St. Thomas-Elgin General Hospital on Friday July 22 as suggested above. Due to the water main break, we experienced reduced water pressure which meant we could not use our sterilizer.
“Our backup plan when our own sterilizing equipment is not available, is to transport (not by taxi) surgical equipment to Tillsonburg. This plan was initiated and executed immediately, and therefore no surgeries were cancelled.
“Our priority is to deliver excellent patient care and we have plans in place to ensure minimal disruption to patient care when such situations arise.
“The C-arm is an imaging device used in the operating room. A new C-Arm was purchased in 2007 thanks to generous donations from our community. ”
Fox was not available for comment as she was away from the office Thursday and will not return until Tuesday.
We will contact her at that time for clarification on possible equipment problems in the hospital OR.
HOW TWEET IT IS
Quite the letter to the editor this past Wednesday in which Bill Sandison takes Mayor Heather Jackson-Chapman to task for her testy tweets.
Her candid observations on the demeanor of Ald. Lori Baldwin-Sands following the new consolidated courthouse announcement June 30 and a response to a shot across the bow of council from Downtown Development Board chairman Dan Muscat prompted Sandison to claim the mayor “has lowered the bar when it comes to the conduct of someone holding her office.”
He continues, “It’s hard to imagine the behaviour of the office could be worse than the previous regime.”
Sandison refers to the mayor’s actions as a display of poor judgment and “an almost childlike spitefulness.”
Cheer up Heather.
It wasn’t that long ago the Times-Journal was the target of inflammatory tweets from Sandison.
Now, those were truly spiteful.
A MATTER OF CONVENIENCE
Dave Bryans, president of the Ontario Convenience Stores Association, is no strange to this corner.
He has contributed on several occasions in relation to the sale of contraband tobacco and the targetting of convenience stores for selling tobacco to underage purchasers employed by the health unit.
Well, Bryans is now leading the charge to allow beer and wine to be sold in convenience stores across the province.
His organization has launched a Facebook campaign at http://www.freeourbeer.ca asking voters to push for additional access to beer and wine in convenience stores.
How do City Scope readers feel about such a convenience and should it be an election issue?
Check in with your comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“If you have a problem with the DDB (Downtown Development Board) or another member of council, put away your bumbleberry and work with them to resolve it.”
In a letter to the Times-Journal, reader Bill Sandison rips into Mayor Heather Jackson-Chapman “for posting inflammatory remarks” on Twitter directed at Ald. Lori Baldwin-Sands and the DDB.
City Scope appears Saturday in the Times-Journal. Questions and comments may be emailed to: email@example.com.Follow @ianscityscope