January 9, 2018
With all four Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance (HPHA) hospital sites operating at over 100% capacity, elective surgeries, such as joint replacements, are being postponed and staff are being reassigned to support inpatient needs.
“This level of activity is almost unprecedented,” said Andrew Williams, President and CEO. “All staff are completely focused on supporting the needs of our current patients, and we are making ongoing adjustments in an effort to limit added pressures on the system,” he said.
At time of issuing this release, the Stratford General Hospital Emergency Department had 11 admitted patients waiting for an inpatient bed, while the Clinton Public Hospital, St. Marys Memorial Hospital and Seaforth Community Hospital were all over census at 21 inpatient beds. Overall, acute care beds across the HPHA are at 117% occupancy.
“Clearly, we regret any impacts on patients and their families however with every bed in all HPHA sites already full, this situation does mean postponing some services and potentially longer wait times for patients in our Emergency Rooms,” adds Williams. “It also makes it harder to control the spread of infections, and puts added pressure on our Environmental Services Staff.”
HPHA does not wish to discourage Huron and Perth residents from using their Emergency Departments, however residents do have choices depending on their condition including:
- Contacting their family physician for non-urgent conditions
- Contacting Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000 and speaking with a Registered Nurse for health advice or information. This service is free and confidential.
Of course not all emergency visits will be avoidable and symptoms including pains or tightness in the chest, broken bones, wounds that may need stitches and shortness of breath are all reasons to go to the Emergency Department.
“We ask those who do need to visit our Emergency Department to be patient”, adds Williams. “We know that this is the last place many people want to be. As always, we will see our sickest patients first and we are committed to providing timely, safe quality care to all our patients and their families.”