Former Minister of Health, National Insurance and Social Security, Dr. David Estwick.

Persons attending the Accident and Emergency Department (A&E) of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) should expect a vast improvement in service.

According to former Minister of Health, National Insurance and Social Security, Dr. David Estwick, “the QEH has provided training for 21 volunteers to be assigned to the A&E”.

Speaking at the QEH’s Dinner and Awards Ceremony recently, Dr.Estwick explained that the volunteers would act as intermediaries between the staff, patients and their relatives who accompany them. “Most persons only go to the A&E if they are very ill, so it is generally a tense, frustrating and at times painful experience…However, the role of these volunteers will be to communicate regularly with those persons awaiting treatment in the A&E waiting rooms, in order to bring some measure of comfort to them, and not to offer medical advice or information,” he stated.

Dr. Estwick added that the QEH was also aiming to reduce the patient load of the A&E Department through the establishment of the Chronic Pain Management Centre. “In Barbados, it is estimated that 25% of persons suffer with some form of chronic pain.

The Ministry has therefore recognised the need to establish this facility to address the varying issues of persons who suffer with chronic pain. Cabinet has agreed to the establishment of this Centre from January, 2009,” he revealed.

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