Grey Bruce Hospitals Respond to Capacity Challenges Amid Third Wave Of COVID-19
April 21, 2021
April 21, 2021 – In response to escalating bed capacity
challenges across the province and a Ministry of Health directive issued
on April 20th requiring all non-emergent and non-urgent elective
surgeries and procedures to be ceased, the three hospital corporations
in Grey Bruce are increasing bed capacity and ramping down elective
surgeries and procedures beginning this week. The postponement of
elective surgeries is necessary to ensure hospital staff are available
to provide care for the additional beds that have been opened.
impacted patients will be contacted directly by their physician’s
offices. We are encouraging the public not to call the hospitals or
their physician’s office.
All urgent and emergent surgeries will continue, and physicians will evaluate patient status and provide care as needed.
number of COVID+ patients in Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds is
increasing dramatically, particularly in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA),
and hospitals outside the GTA have been asked to take patients from
other hospitals that have become overwhelmed. All hospitals across
Southwestern and Eastern Ontario have been asked to support these
Over the weekend, Ontario Health West advised
hospitals that patient transfers out of the GTA will begin on a daily
basis to free up ICU capacity, with up to ten patients per day to the
South West Region. As bed capacity across the Grey Bruce region is
already nearing or at 100%, additional beds are required to support
Hospitals are also facing bed capacity
challenges because there are a large number of Alternate Level of Care
(ALC) patients in hospital – patients designated as ALC are those people
who have completed their hospital stay but are unable to be discharged
to their next destination (long-term care, home, supportive housing,
etc.) because that destination is not available.
South Bruce Grey Health Centre (SBGHC)
April 21st, five additional surge beds will be opened at the Walkerton
hospital, and three surge beds that were previously opened at the
Kincardine hospital to manage additional capacity will remain open.
Health care human resources are stretched thin at this time, and as a
result, support for these additional beds will include allied health
professionals working alongside nurses in a team nursing model.
free up staffing resources to support the team nursing model,
Diagnostic Imaging procedures will be slowed to 50-75% beginning April
21st, and surgical services have been ramped down to focus on priority 1
and 2 procedures through May 10th. If your previously booked
Diagnostic Imaging exam or surgery is impacted, you will be contacted to
“Every hospital bed is a provincial resource,”
explains Michael Barrett, SBGHC President & CEO. “We fully support a
seamless provincial hospital system that will accept patients from
other hospitals, share resources and prioritize services so all
hospitals can continue to provide safe, effective care to both COVID-19
and non COVID-19 patients.”
Grey Bruce Health Services (GBHS)
is postponing all pre-booked elective and non-urgent surgeries starting
this Monday, April 26th. Diagnostic imaging services are not impacted
at this time.
GBHS is currently caring for seven COVID
positive patients, and the Intensive Care Unit is full. GBHS is
increasing beds in that unit from six to eight, and has opened 20
additional beds to support acute care patients. Up to twenty more beds
will be opened across the six GBHS hospitals for those who are awaiting
transfer to an alternate level of care.
“We recognize that
postponing elective surgeries is a hardship for many families” said Gary
Sims, GBHS President and CEO. “The Ministry issued this Directive
because we are in a critical situation, and difficult choices have to be
made to save lives. We will do everything we can to get those surgeries
re-booked when we have the capacity and human resources to do so
Hanover & District Hospital (HDH)
of April 12th, HDH has reduced its surgical services to only urgent and
emergent surgeries and patients impacted by this ramp down have been
contacted. At this time, Diagnostic Imaging services have not reduced
and will be evaluated as the provincial situation evolves.
support both local, regional and provincial needs and resources, HDH has
12 additional beds ready to be opened and staffed. The model of care
is moving towards a team nursing model with the support of allied health
and other health care professions to care for the expected increased
number of patients. HDH has and will continue to provide care and
support to COVID-19 positive patients as they present to both the
Emergency and Acute Care Unit.
“The province as a whole is in
need,” says Dana Howes, President & CEO of HDH. “All of our beds
need to be viewed as system-wide resources to ensure that patients
across our province receive safe, quality and appropriate care for both
COIVD positive and non-positive patients. We cannot do this without the
care and engagement of our communities and to date the groundswell of
support has been phenomenal. Thank you to every member of the Grey
Bruce community for your care and compassion during this time.”
restrictions have also been further reduced in all Grey Bruce hospitals
to ensure the safety of our patients and staff. Patients, caregivers
and family members are encouraged to visit the hospital websites for
more information and details.
All three Grey Bruce hospitals
would like to thank our communities in advance for their understanding,
patience and support. This is not business as usual, and our teams are
working tirelessly to support patients during this time.
Manager, Communications, Engagement and Patient Experience
South Bruce Grey Health Centre
(519) 370-2400 ext. 2281
Grey Bruce Health Services
(519) 376-2121 ext. 2805
Hanover & District Hospital
(519) 364-2341 ext. 209