covid 19 3

Based on forecast models, the provincial hospital system will be facing significant capacity challenges over the coming weeks due to an increasing prevalence of COVID19 across the province. In a joint media release from the Grey Bruce Health Service, Hanover and District Hospital and South Bruce Grey Health Centre, the forecast shows that the number of both medicine and critical care beds required in January and February may exceed the bed capacity of all hospitals across the

Some hospitals in the province are already at or over capacity, and are actively working to create capacity to accommodate patient needs. Most hospitals are increasing bed numbers where staffing is available, and for those hospitals already at capacity, they are attempting to free up capacity by moving patients to other hospitals.

In Grey Bruce, the prevalence of COVID-19 remains relatively low when compared to other parts of the province; and even though the capacity of the three hospital corporations in Grey Bruce is nearing capacity, their hospitals will be asked to play an active role in meeting the demand of patients across the province.

This means that all hospitals must be ready to accept patient transfers when directed by their regional or provincial COVID-19 response structure. It also means that hospitals may have to reduce or stop non-urgent surgeries and other procedures to ensure there are enough beds and capacity to care for those patients requiring hospital care.

In simple terms, every hospital bed is a provincial resource, and the Grey Bruce hospitals fully support a single, seamless provincial hospital system that will accept patients from other hospitals, share resources and prioritize services so all hospitals can continue to provide safe, effective care to both COVID-19 and non COVID-19 patients.

The movement of patients between hospitals is not new. However, the amount of movement between sites has the potential to be much larger than normal in the coming weeks.

"For Grey Bruce residents requiring hospital care, it means that you may be admitted to hospital that is not in your home community. And when transferred back from a larger hospital to continue your recovery, depending on capacity, you may be transferred to another hospital site that is not necessarily your home hospital site. It also means that patients from outside of Grey Bruce may be transferred into our region for hospital care," read the release.

"It is understood that you and your loved ones want to be cared for close to home, in hospitals you are familiar with and that you have supported, and every effort will be taken to ensure that happens. However, during these challenging times, a patient may be admitted to a hospital away from your home community," the release continued.