NHA says QC hospital beds should be used more efficiently

  • Jan. 26, 2004 8:00 p.m.

The Queen Charlotte hospital will continue to have eight acute care beds, but those beds must be run more efficiently, says a Northern Health Authority representative.
At present the hospital has 16 beds, eight long-term care and eight acute care. The long-term care beds are funded differently from acute care beds, and are not at risk.
The Queen Charlotte Health Watch Committee found a document at the NHA web site suggesting the number of acute care beds would be cut to four in the 2004/5 fiscal year. However, in a meeting with the committee Jan 20, Health Services Administrator Jennifer Kennedy assured the group that the number of beds would not be reduced for now.
The focus now is on more effective management rather than closing acute care beds, says Ms Kennedy. Hospital staff must look at how people flow through the system and manage things so that patients are getting the right care in the right place, she says. She also assured the committee that any restructuring of the hospital would be done collaboratively with the community.
One concern is that people who need long term care, or who could be cared for at home, are taking acute care beds, says Ms Kennedy. By improving services like home support and adult day care, people who don’t need to be in hospital can be cared for at home.
The committee is relieved to know the hospital will continue to operate the same way, says committee chair Carol Kulesha, and that the community will be consulted before any changes. Committee members agree that people should be in hospital for as short a stay as possible, but the community doesn’t have the support services needed to allow people to leave the hospital.
“We do have concerns. We don’t feel there is enough community support for quicker discharges,” says Ms Kulesha.
In Masset, the hospital has eight beds, four long term and four acute care. There are no plansin the works to change that number.