Detailed planning continues to lead to the construction of a secure room for psychiatric patients at the Northern Haida Gwaii Hospital in Masset. (Black Press photo)

Secure room for psych patients at Northern Haida Gwaii Hospital in the works

Detailed planning will aid in securing bids for the project

A secure room for psychiatric patients at the Northern Haida Gwaii Hospital in Masset remains in the planning stage.

First revealed as a construction project last year, the room is “in design development which is the stage of developing specifications for tendering the work to complete the renovation,” said Northern Health official Andrea Palmer.

Work will involve renovations within the hospital’s existing footprint.

Called an observation room, the renovation project will result in a room where acutely unwell psychiatric patients can be safely placed for assessment and stabilization.

It’s meant as a short stay addition to hospital services and patients could very well then be transported to longer stay psychiatric services.

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The anticipated cost, listed at $991,000, is to be financed 60 per cent by the Northern Health Authority’s capital works program and 40 per cent by regional taxpayers through the North West Regional Hospital District.

The secure room will contain acoustic material so that it is soundproof and be built of material that can withstand heavy use.

Such a room was not within the design scope of the combined hospital and health centre when opened in 2008 but the need for one has now been recognized, she added.

The combined hospital/health centre has four acute care beds, four long term care beds, primary care facilities, a lab and a small emergency room.

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There are other equipment replacements set for Northern Haida Gwaii Hospital, not all of which have yet made the approved list, noted Palmer.

Topping the priority list is a nurse call system replacement to replace one now considered obsolete.

Other items include a nursing station renovation, a new phone system and X-ray room.

One project that does have a higher priority rating than others is a renovation to the pharmacy area to bring it up to new nationally-mandated standards.

This is to ensure proper disposal of waste and enhanced sterile conditions in which pharmacists prepare medications specific to individual patient requirements.

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