Hague hospital staff facing more aggression from family of Covid patients
The HMC hospital in The Hague started hiring extra security last week to protect staff against increasing aggression in and around the coronavirus department. Patients and family members are unhappy about patients needing to be transferred, Ingrid Wolf, chairman of the hospital's board of directors, said to NRC.
There were two incidents in particular that prompted the hospital to take measures. "One family was so angry that their relative was going to be moved that they threatened the nurses. Another corona patient suddenly had a lawyer in the ward. To demand that the patient should not be moved."
The large city hospital's corona wards in all three its locations are full. Patients therefore need to be transferred to other hospitals for care - often to their irritation. The hospital now checks every morning whether transfers will take place and how many security guards may be needed, according to the newspaper.
"The pressure on the staff is great," Wolf said. "For the past week and a half, five to ten patients have been coming in in the evening and at night. So we transfer patients during the day to make room. That is now policy in all hospitals: spread corona patients across the hospitals, also outside your own region. This has to be done in order to be able to continue to provide normal care in every hospital."
"We are also hearing about aggression during patient transfers. It is about violent arguments, hitting, spitting in the face,” said Michel van Erp, chairman of healthcare workers union NU'91. “We do not have concrete figures yet, in part because nursing staff do not dare to alert us every time."
HMC and its staff also find it "very annoying" that patients sometimes have to be transferred all the way to Groningen to be treated. "We understand that this is difficult for the loved ones. But there is no other way, we are full. And then it is about how you deal with that setback. Aggression is not an option."
The OLVG hospital in Amsterdam also told the newspaper that its employees are facing increasing aggression. The hospital is now giving each coronavirus patient a letter, informing them that they may have to be moved to another hospital. The Amsterdam University Medical Center, Leiden University Medical Center and Sint Jansdal in Harderwijk all told broadcaster NOS that they too noticed similar problems as HMC.