In order to safely operate the ED, reduced hours of operation have
been in effect since December 2, 2019 and will be continuing until the required
number of RNs are able to be recruited.
The hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week.
“At this time, one full-time and three part-time RN vacancies
remain in the Clinton Public Hospital ED.
While we have had some success in hiring, we have also had staff move to
other sites or areas,” says Anne Campbell, Vice President Partnerships &
Chief Nursing Executive. “In order to
return to 24-hour ED service in Clinton, RNs with experience are required that
are confident in their skills and abilities to safely respond to patients’
needs during the overnight hours when there are limited staff in the building.”
The situation HPHA is facing is not unique. The Seaforth Community Hospital site of the
HPHA experienced a similar situation between 2009 and 2011,
reducing ED operating hours until nursing staffing stabilized. This department
reopened to provide 24/7 ED service.
The Chesley Hospital site of the South Bruce Grey Health Centre reduced
their ED hours in September 2019 due to the same staffing challenges.
and retention of RNs is very challenging in rural communities. Nurses are
required to develop a high degree of competency in a number of clinical domains
and specialties, and new graduates are often unprepared to work in a rural
setting without significant orientation and mentorship.
a minimum of six months to one year is required for an RN with no ED experience
to feel prepared to work the night shift alone,” adds Campbell.
reduced hours were implemented in December 2019, the Clinton ED continues to
provide care to 90% to 95% of the volume of patients between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. that
are typically seen in a 24-hour period. There
have been no negative outcomes and the direct 9-1-1 phone line installed at the
ED door for use after hours has only been used once.
recruitment and training will continue with the intent to resume 24-hour ED
services as soon as staffing resources are stabilized. “The reduction in hours is an interim measure. We are working closely with the Ministry of
Health to explore funding to support our recruitment and retention efforts,”
explains Andrew Williams, President & CEO.
“We are committed to keeping all four of our sites strong and
viable. This is evidenced by the
investment of $180,000 to renovate the inpatient tub and shower room and
$486,000 in the new digital X-ray suite.”
community is reminded that between the hours of 8 p.m. and 8 a.m. patients will
be able to access emergency services at one of the other area hospitals that
provide 24-hour ED coverage including the Seaforth Community Hospital site of
the HPHA, Alexandra Marine & General Hospital in Goderich, South Huron
Hospital in Exeter and Wingham & District Hospital in Wingham.
always, anyone having a medical emergency should call 9-1-1.