New, unfunded hospital unit to help address surging patient volumes

With sustained patient volumes above 100 per cent of the hospital’s funded bed capacity over the past year, Peterborough Regional Health Centre (PRHC) has made the decision to open an additional 24 unfunded inpatient beds later this month.

For the past two years, the beds – located on unit B6 – have been temporarily opened and staffed between December and March, providing additional space for patients during the traditional “surge” season, when respiratory illnesses like influenza (flu) have historically increased the volume of patients coming through the hospital.

This past spring and summer, however, patient numbers have continued to exceed hospital capacity, prompting the Health Centre to open 24 unfunded beds on a year-round basis.

“We are facing similar challenges to what is being seen in hospitals across the province,” said Colleen Armstrong, Director, Emergency & Medicine. “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.

“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. These 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 2018/19.

“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 healthcare system in Ontario,” said Dr. Peter McLaughlin, President & 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.”


For more information:
Michelene Ough
705-743-2121 x. 4259