Fiona Stanley Hospital has been forced to employ another 57 orderlies and set up a special team to address widespread complaints about the time it takes Serco to move patients.
An email from executive director Robyn Lawrence to all hospital staff late yesterday outlined changes to the porter service.
It said a temporary project board would identify “key risks to patient safety and efficient service delivery”.
It would provide “a temporary increase in oversight, governance and leadership of this critical hospital service”.
It is the second time in two weeks that hospital management has stepped in because of major shortfalls in a Serco-led service.
It stripped the company of control of sterilising medical equipment last month because of delays in returning items to operating theatres.
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Doctors and nurses have been complaining since the hospital opened last month about delays when they call a porter to transfer patients from one part of the hospital to another.
Some doctors have become so frustrated they have given up waiting for the porters to arrive and resorted to going to the wards and picking up patients themselves.
Dr Lawrence said the board was compiling a list of issues related to the use of porters.
She said some improvements had already been made, including taking on the extra 57 full-time equivalent workers with some dedicated to the busiest parts of the hospital.
Rosters had been changed, with more porters in the late afternoon and early evening and cheat sheets were being developed to help staff log in requests for a porter.
“Serco continue to monitor their progress and listen for service improvement opportunities,” Dr Lawrence said.
“The board and Serco will be continuing to identify issues and track and monitor progress in effectiveness until a satisfactory level of service is achieved on a consistent basis.”
Shadow health minister Roger Cook described it as an extraordinary development in what was a botched move to privatise services at the hospital.
“We’ve been getting daily complaints from staff and patients about dysfunctional aspects of the hospital and most relate to Serco-run services,” he said.