Tbnewswatch Local News
Tuesday July 7 2015
8:06 PM EDT
2014-02-20 at 13:14

Plan drafted

TBRHSC president and CEO Andree Robichaud (right) addresses the hospital
Jodi Lundmark, tbnewswatch.com
TBRHSC president and CEO Andree Robichaud (right) addresses the hospital's fire code violation Thursday morning.
By Jodi Lundmark, tbnewswatch.com

Although she couldn't speak to the details, Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre president and CEO Andree Robichaud said a plan has been submitted to relieve overcapacity pressures on the hospital.

The North West Local Health Integration Network has given a plan to the province that would increase community capacity for alternative level of care patients taking up space at the hospital, said Robichaud Thursday morning. 

After more than 50 consecutive days, the Health Sciences Centre was finally out of gridlock Wednesday evening.

But the overcapacity issue led to a charge for a fire code violation for placing patients in alcoves not meant for patient care.

"We've been using alcoves for over four years, prior to my coming here," Robichaud said.

Last year the fire department asked about the use of alcoves and the hospital worked with Thunder Bay Fire Rescue to assess the risks of using the spaces for patient overflow.

"I think that when you're looking at what are your alternatives, we felt the alcoves were safe. They were close to the nursing stations. The nurses could observe the patients at all times," said Robichaud.

"But when the fire department looked at this and said 'there are not doors, this is a risk, we need to find alternatives,' we worked with them to find alternatives."

Story continues after the video ... 



The solution was to use patient lounges, but they had to be renovated before simply moving patients in.

They moved the last patient from an alcove to a patient lounge on Nov. 4, 2013. The fire inspection was done Nov. 1.

"We couldn't move quickly enough," said Robichaud, noting they had to equip the lounges to be sufficient patient areas before they were suitable to use as rooms.

The hospital has been working with the LHIN, St. Joseph's Care Group and the Community Care Access Centre to find capacity within the community for ALC patients.

The Health Sciences Centre has 56 ALC patients that require care outside of the hospital like long-term care or rehabilitation.

The LHIN-drafted plan would give an interim solution to the overflow situation until construction on St. Joseph Care Group's Centre of Excellence of Integrated Seniors' Services is complete. That facility will house 416 long-term care beds to replace Grandview Lodge, Dawson Court and Bethammi Nursing Home.

Robichaud said she's positive the province understands the situation and that the problem lies within community capacity.

"I'm hopeful government will respond pretty quickly and we'll be able to move forward," she said.

North West LHIN CEO Laura Kokocinski said the plan is in draft form and hasn't yet been handed into the province.

They are still having discussions with various health care providers on what resources already exist in the city and they don't have a timeline on when the plan will be complete.

"We continue to engage with them to see what else can be done. We're looking at how we're going to continue to address the overcapacity issues," said Kokocinski Thursday afternoon.

When asked if spaces like the Lakehead Psychiatric Hospital and McKellar Place could be used to temporarily house ALC beds, Kokocinski said they are looking at all options.

"We're not ruling anything out at this point in time," she said.

The LHIN is working as quickly as they can to look for both short and long-term solutions to the capacity issues, she added.

"(The hospital) has been doing a really good job of looking at what efficiencies they can create within their environment. We are very supportive of what they've been able to do and we recognize they are working under very difficult times at the moment," said Kokocinski.

The TBRHSC has a court date of Feb. 26 for the fire code violation charge.

Click here to submit a letter to the editor.

Click here to report a typo or error



We've improved our comment system.
lori says:
and the idiocy continues-- it was not the city who decided to close 3 hospitals to make one. It was the PC gov't of Mike Harris and THEY decided how many beds we got.

Bill, Mike and Hobbs are not pushing their agenda for the multi-plex and art gallery. this is completely a city initiative and are asking the province for money for the study as they are entitled to do even though I do not agree with the project. No $'s for construction have been approved by the Fed's or the province and hopefully they won't approve it.

And the citizens didn't vote for a shiny new hospital per say. We had a choice to spend 20-22 million for a retro-fit, money we would have had to spend, or 25 million for new. That is what we decided, the debenture of that money.

how is it possible that so many people can be so wrong about so many things so often.

2/21/2014 9:13:22 PM
Watchful says:
The best solution is the American way, no more OHIP. Either you pay or you go without. Quite simple really. Will eliminate any overuse of hospital for those with a sore toe, drug problem, alcohol problem and as far as the old, well "they shoot horses don't they" will keep the population of a Thunder Bay to under 60. That would please many in this city
2/21/2014 5:41:16 PM
unionbay880 says:
Here's the plan to relieve overcapacity pressures on the hospital. Might take a few months. Step one - stop eating 4000 calories per day. Step two - get off the couch.
2/21/2014 3:46:45 PM
dynamiter says:
To insertcorrect- You are correct on a whole bunch of things -BUT - Joe and Gramps probably shouldnt have gone to a critical care hospital. We need to get away from sending everybody to the hospital when they need medical attention. That is the problem with Ontario's medical paradigm. We need more Long term care units for sure and that would relieve 80% of the problems. But we also need to have Urgent Care facilities so that people can receive care and not go to the hospital and end up in hallway or occupying a critical care beds. They have these Urgent care facilities in other provinces and the US and they cost effectively divert most cases where non hospitalization or short term monitoring is required - and that will get rid of gridlock. Perhaps take all the money paid to LHIN's and open up these units.
2/21/2014 1:45:41 PM
mcnews says:
Right, let's not spend any money on things like youth, art, culture or entertainment. Try getting rid of the LHINS and save hundreds of millions.
2/20/2014 11:48:04 PM
nvjgu says:
Just an idea, since a hospital is for takeing care of sick people with medical needs, discharge all the people that don't need medical care anymore back to where they came from. They must have come from somewhere.
2/20/2014 10:41:45 PM
insertcorrectpunctuationhere says:
That sounds easy doesn't it, and would in fact clear up the grid lock situation.
But here is reality: Grandma comes in with a broken hip. She fell at home. She has surgery and spends 14 days in hospital but is now severely deconditioned and can't get around like she used to. She will be able to return home eventually but needs rehab. But wait. St. Joe's doesn't have a bed available for a week so Grandma is taking up an acute care bed when she is no longer sick.
Joe blow comes in off the street. He spends most of his time at Shelter House. He has pneumonia, he gets a week of IV antibiotics and now he's better. But Shelter House won't take him back due to bad behaviour so now we have to find somewhere for him to go. That takes another 4 days.
Gramps came in from home. He is 90 and lives alone but isn't eating properly or bathing or taking his meds and he's very confused. Needs long term care. Takes 8 months to get a bed, so he takes up a hospital bed for 8 months.
This = gridlock.
2/21/2014 12:25:43 AM
Vanity says:
Why is the North West LHIN always so slow to act?
2/20/2014 9:20:01 PM
Kam River says:
Would be nice if Mike, Bill and Hobbs would stop wasting money on their pet project (Multiplex, Youth Centre & Art Gallery) Trying buy votes from special interest groups.
Rather than spending the money to help all the citizen by keeping the hospital out of gridlock.
2/20/2014 8:23:52 PM
livewire says:
The whole problem stems from the hospital classed as a REGIONAL HOSPITAL. This covers a large area not only Thunder Bay. The larger the area which means the greater the population.
2/20/2014 7:35:02 PM
blah blah says:
The citizens voted for one shiny new hospital we have ourselves to blame. Im glad to see someone turned this into an event center issue. thought it was about the hospital, i was wrong
2/20/2014 7:11:43 PM
Curious says:
I would be really surprised if Tracey lets them reign on her parade. She has her own special agenda for the LPH, and the elderly and hospital needs are not a part of it. I am curious as to why a fully capable bldg with wards complete ready for use are left empty.
2/20/2014 6:08:51 PM
ring of fire dude says:
Not to worry , they can stuff the overflow patients in the basement of the events center when it's built .
2/20/2014 4:12:39 PM
TIC says:
Hmmm, I wonder if it is starting to sink in that the idiotic idea of building one hospital to replace 2 hospitals that had more capacity (combined) for the northwest region was a horrible idea....
2/20/2014 3:51:23 PM
thunderbaycouncel says:
LIKE I STATED BEFORE, there is a plan. They are opening up a wing at the LPH. Its a done deal.
2/20/2014 2:32:50 PM
Leith Dunick says:
We're actually looking into that. We asked the hospital and were referred to St. Joseph's Care Group. Calls are in.
2/20/2014 3:23:40 PM
jimmyboy says:
In my world seeing is believing....and if this space was readily available....why use it at this late stage of the game...!!!
2/20/2014 5:44:20 PM
jimmyboy says:
I call FARCE on their PLAN.....!!!
Can you actually stated "she could not speak to the details"...we who have paid for the hospital as well pay her salary...Have The Right to Know...!!!
2/20/2014 1:47:55 PM
Comments for this story are semi-moderated. Read our comment guideline.

Add a new comment.
You must log in to add comments.
Create a new account
Log In