Need to start again on hospital
On occasions when I have had a need for its services or visited a patient at the Albury Base Hospital, I ask myself why is it that Albury been so heavily penalised?
This is no criticism of the medical, nursing and other health services staff, who all do a great job in what are awful conditions. Where should I begin?
It's cramped, with woefully inadequate spaces for both patients and staff. Hardly any allowance has been made for the storage of a patient's even meagre personal possessions, let alone for the medical staff to locate necessary medication and/or other patient needs. There is no visitor seating, unless one borrows a chair from a patient.
The wards are so small that there's hardly any room to even stand beside a patient's bedside without impinging on another patient's space. The wards are small, and there are hardly any single rooms unless the patient needs close supervision: then these spaces are tiny and so close to the nurse's station and noisy, that it's a wonder anyone could manage to sleep.
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The whole ambience is gloomy, even with the moderately large windows. If you were claustrophobic, you would be very uncomfortable.
Natural light hardly penetrates into common areas. I have never been in a more dreary building. Even the outdoor spaces, that should provide a positive, healing influence, on the whole are only just adequately or poorly maintained and look unloved.
It's cold. In winter the draft of air from the automatic entrance doors manages to work its its way along those long corridors and into the wards. I know this as a fact from visiting my husband over a long period of time during the cold weather.
The layout is bad. The distance from Nolan House to the cafeteria would challenge even the moderately fit, let alone the elderly or physically challenged. The entrance foyer is certainly not designed, or embellished to give one any positive vibes about the building one is entering. It unfortunately sets the standard.
And last, but certainly not least, the parking situation is ghastly. Now I'm a bit older, and don't qualify for disabled parking consideration, finding a space that doesn't challenge me physically is hardly conducive to wanting to visit. I pity those relatives who, like myself, spend many weeks supporting a loved one.
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I wonder why the government is spending such a huge amount to upgrade the Emergency Department, though having benefited from its care personally and for family members, this really is a necessity and not before time. But unfortunately the whole hospital was a disaster from the start, and should be demolished and we should have a building similar to Wagga Base Hospital, which is modern, spacious and fit for purpose.
If both our state and federal Parliamentary representatives were 'fair dinkum', they would be lobbying both levels of government to have this ghastly anomaly in the provision of medical services for this huge region, corrected.
Noelle Oke, Albury
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