Numerous patients who were treated by the geriatric services of the ZNA hospital chain in Antwerp have complained they were “treated poorly”. Het Laatste Nieuws reported on the story on Friday and the paper said there were over 100 complaints. The ZNA chain, which has 2,500 beds, said it was taking the complaints very seriously and it was conducting an internal investigation.
The complaints say patients were left shut in storerooms, they could be seen by others in humiliating positions in bathrooms and emergency call buttons were left where they couldn’t access them.
The CEO of the Antwerp hospital chain, Wouter De Ploey, said he was taking the complaints seriously. “I have a lot of respect for our care staff who work hard every day, but circumstances sometimes mean things do not go as they should and we must learn from that”.
The CEO said that there were a million contacts with patients in 2018 and 1,024 complaints. Just 41 of those complaints concerned the geriatric services. The President of the hospital chain, Fons Duchateau (N-VA), said anyone who wants to submit a complaint should get in touch with the ZNA mediation services, which is independent from the management.