PRHC to open 24 additional beds during seasonal surge
With the onset of flu season as unpredictable as it is, Peterborough’s healthcare providers are preparing for a possible surge in patients seeking care throughout the coming holidays and in the weeks to follow.
For the first time this year, Peterborough Regional Health Centre (PRHC) will be opening and staffing an additional 24 inpatient beds from December 2015 through to March 2016, to enhance the care we provide for our patients during our busiest time of year.
From 2013/14 to 2014/2015, PRHC saw a 10 per cent rise in the total number of patients coming through our Emergency Department (ED), an increase from 73,000 to 82,000 patients over a single year. In collaboration with our healthcare partners in the community, the hospital began planning for the 2015/2016 holiday season in February 2015, to ensure we are prepared for the expected increase in patient numbers.
“We encourage anyone considering a visit to the ED to assess whether the matter is non-urgent before making a decision about where to seek health care, and we ask for your patience if it takes longer for a physician to see you,” said Dr. Mark Troughton, Medical Director, Emergency.
“Visitors to the ED are also encouraged to wear a mask if they are coughing and sneezing, to protect others from potential flu exposure,” said Dr. Troughton. Masks are available inside the ED entrance.
Meanwhile, the Peterborough Family Health Team is prepared for the coming holiday season. They remind residents there are options to consider prior to making a visit to the hospital’s Emergency Department. Family doctors and nurse practitioners at clinics across the city and county will be offering same-day appointments and extended-hours clinics.
“We have plans in place for the holidays and our doctors will be offering day, evening and weekend clinics,” says Dr. Kaetlen Wilson, Medical Director for the Family Health Team. “We’re here to care for you and your family, so please contact your doctor’s office.”
If you determine that your medical situation does not require urgent care, please consider the following options:
• Call your family doctor or nurse practitioner – clinic information will be offered via the office voice mail message
• Visit www.peterboroughfht.com for clinic hours and information
• Speak to a registered nurse by calling Telehealth Ontario (24 hours) at 1-866-797-0000
With flu on the rise throughout the province, the Peterborough County-City Health Unit reminds residents to get the flu shot to protect themselves and others.
“Influenza will be circulating in Peterborough so getting a flu shot may help keep you well over the holidays. It also prevents you from spreading it to seniors and young children, people who are at the greatest risk of getting seriously ill if they get the flu,” says Dr. Rosana Salvaterra, Medical Officer of Health, adding the flu shot is recommended for everyone over six months of age.
The shot is widely available at many local pharmacies, from doctors’ offices and local walk-in clinics. The Health Unit is also running flu clinics for families with young children on January 9 and 16 at its new location on 185 King St.
Peterborough Regional Health Centre would like to remind our patients and visitors that we have implemented 24-hour patient visiting at the hospital. We recognize that family presence has a positive impact on our patients’ overall health and well-being. Patients and families are encouraged to work with the healthcare team to coordinate visits with loved ones throughout the holiday season.
For more information about PRHC’s open visiting hours, please visit the hospital’s website: www.prhc.on.ca/cms/visitors.
The Health Unit, Family Health Team and Health Centre extend our wishes to the community for a safe and happy holiday.
For more information:
Brittany Cadence, Communications Manager
Peterborough County-City Health Unit
Tel: 705-743-1000, ext. 391
Dr. Kaetlen Wilson, Medical Director
Peterborough Networked Family Health Team
Tel: 705-740-8020, ext. 304
Michelene Ough, Communications Lead
Peterborough Regional Health Centre
Tel: 705-743-2121, ext. 4259