Current Affairs
Gozo hotel is adequate for elderly persons – improvement in service recommended

An investigation carried out by the Social Welfare Standards Authority confirmed that the Gozo hotel is adequate to accommodate elderly persons who were transferred in the building from Sala Sant’Anna at the Gozo General Hospital.

This was stated by the Ministry for the Family and Social Solidarity, which has the Parliamentary Secretariat for Active Ageing under its portfolio.

The investigation was carried out following an allegation that families were shocked by the hotel’s facilities, including that rooms are too small for two patients, the corridors and lift are also small, stretchers with wheels that do not pass through doors, uncertainty on whether wheelchairs can be manoeuvred in lifts and rooms, and that the lifter does not fit in rooms.

It was pointed out in a statement that Steward Health Care was granted an emergency licence by the Social Welfare Standards Authority due to the exceptional circumstance of Covid-19. Steward requested the emergency licence in order to transfer the Gozo General hospital patients to Downtown Hotel.

The investigation concluded that the rooms may accommodate two persons, a wheelchair can manoeuvre in corridors and rooms, handling means of residents are being used when necessary in rooms, the medicine is safely stored, and health professionals are providing the same level of treatment that they provided at Sala Sant’Anna.

It was pointed out that the Authority is also ensuring that the contingency plans and necessary procedures are all in place, while it recommended improvement in the service.

These include an increase in communication, through video calls between elderly persons and their relatives; that the service includes structured program of various activities; and the assurance that each resident has adequate space to store his/her personal things.

The Social Welfare Standards Authority will also make other inspection visits in the coming days to see that these shortcomings are addressed.

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