Peterborough Regional Health Centre is opening an additional 24 unfunded inpatient beds this month to address surging patient volumes.
In a press release, the hospital says the decision comes as over the past year patient volumes have remained above 100 per cent of the hospital’s funded bed capacity.
“We are facing similar challenges to what is being seen in hospitals across the province,” stated Colleen Armstrong, PRHC’s director, emergency and medicine.
This past spring and summer, however, patient numbers have continued to exceed hospital capacity, prompting PRHC to open two dozen unfunded beds on a year-round basis.
“This year, we have had record numbers of patients coming through the doors of our emergency department and being admitted to inpatient beds every month, and there is no indication that these volumes can be expected to decrease anytime soon,” said Armstrong.
“Our goal is to continue to provide safe, quality care for our patients, and the addition of these beds will help to support that level of care throughout the organization,” added Armstrong.
PRHC routinely has approximately 80 patients designated alternative level of care (ALC) in hospital beds who no longer require hospitalization, but who remain in hospital care because there is no safe, suitable alternative available for them in the community.
Earlier this year, PRHC and Peterborough Housing Corporation (PHC) jointly announced the opening of a new seniors’ supportive housing development in the community. Hospital officials say the units will provide “safe, comfortable and affordable housing options” for seniors in both the community and the hospital, allowing them to maintain their independence while receiving the necessary level of daily care.
The housing initiative, jointly funded by PHC and the Central East LHIN, is expected to be ready for residents in late 2018 or early 2019.
“We continue to work with our many partners in the community and region to develop innovative ways of addressing the challenges we are seeing across the health-care system in Ontario,” said Dr. Peter McLaughlin, the hospital’s president and CEO. “The Seniors’ Supportive Housing project is just one way in which we are collaborating with these partners to ensure patients are receiving the appropriate level of care to meet their needs.
“The availability of this housing will not only help us to better meet the living needs of these individuals – it will also allow PRHC to dedicate more beds and resources to providing acute, hospital-level care for our patients, at a crucial time when those resources are in greater demand than ever before.”