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Patient, Family & Caregiver Experience

We are taking precautions at the Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance (HPHA) to ensure the safety of our patients, families, caregivers and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic. Updates will be shared frequently to ensure everyone has the information required to remain safe.

Please visit the Province of Ontario's dedicated COVID-19 webpage to help educate yourself about COVID-19, including how you can protect yourself and what to do if you suspect you may be at risk. 

Please select from the menu below:

Assessment Centres at HPHA

Effective September 24, 2020, Ontarians should only seek testing at Assessment Centres if you are: 

  • Showing COVID-19 symptoms;
  • Have been exposed to a confirmed case of the virus, as informed by your public health unit or exposure notification through the COVID Alert app;
  • A resident or work in a setting that has a COVID-19 outbreak, as identified and informed by your local public health unit; and
  • Eligible for testing as part of a targeted testing initiative directed by the Ministry of Health or the Ministry of Long-Term Care. 
Starting on September 25, you can get tested for COVID-19 at select pharmacies if you are not showing symptoms and eligible for testing as part of a targeted testing initiative directed by the Ministry of Health or the Ministry of Long-Term Care.

Testing continues to be available at any of the province's 150 Assessment Centres currently open, and at participating pharmacies starting this Friday. To find the closest pharmacy or Assessment Centre, please visit Ontario.ca/covidtest

You may self-refer for a test or contact your primary care provider (family doctor). 

Please note that you must have an appointment for testing, we do not accept walk-in appointments.

HPHA COVID-19 Assessment Centre Locations and Hours of Operation

Location

Hours of Operation

Contact Information

Clinton Public Hospital – Emergency Department

Monday to Friday
8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

519-482-3440 ext. 6240

Seaforth Community Hospital – Emergency Department

Monday to Friday
8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

519-527-1650 ext. 4268

Stratford General Hospital – Drive-Through
West Building Outpatient Clinic (under canopy) off of West Gore St.

Monday to Friday
9:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Online booking available 

Booking Office

Monday to Friday

9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
519-272-8210 ext. 2747

 


For information about Assessment services in Listowel, Grand Bend and Goderich, visit the Huron Perth Public Health website by clicking here.

COVID-19 Cases in Huron & Perth

There is local spread of the COVID-19 virus across Huron and Perth as well as the rest of Ontario. We must all act as if we could come into contact with COVID-19 anywhere in our community and as if we could pass COVID-19 on unknowingly.

Cases are reported by Huron Perth Public Health. Please click here to see the latest case totals.

Service Ramp Up

We are able to resume some appointments and procedures that were paused due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are following direction from the provincial government, which has recommended a phased approach to service ramp up in hospitals across Ontario.

This means that we must first provide care to patients who have urgent health needs. If your appointment or procedure was cancelled or postponed due to COVID-19, we will contact you directly once we are ready to reschedule you. This may take some time, depending on your health status.

We appreciate your patience as we work to provide care to those with urgent needs. If you have questions or concerns, please contact your doctor’s office for guidance.

For more information about the service ramp up at our hospitals, read the frequently asked questions below.

Remember, if you are experiencing a medical emergency, please call 9-1-1.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why were appointments and procedures postponed at the HPHA?

At the direction of the provincial government, hospitals across Ontario paused scheduled appointments and procedures in mid-March to free up space and resources to prepare for a surge of patients with COVID-19. During this time, we continued to provide care on an urgent and emergency basis.

My appointment/procedure was postponed. When will it be rescheduled?

Services will be gradually resumed over an extended period of time, beginning with patients with urgent needs.

You will be contacted directly when we are ready to reschedule your appointment or procedure. Please do not call our hospital sites.

Why aren’t all services restarting at the same time?

The provincial government has instructed hospitals to protect a certain level of capacity and resources to be able to care for patients with COVID-19, meaning we cannot fully resume all services at once. We will continue to gradually resume appointments and procedures so long as we have the capacity and resources to allow us to do so.

I have already been waiting months for my appointment/procedure. How much longer will I have to wait?

We regret that we can’t provide a specific timeline for your procedure/appointment at this time. The evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic is an important factor and means we must resume services at a gradual pace to ensure the safety of our patients and staff, and that we have enough resources to provide this care.

We understand that waiting is frustrating and may cause you concern.

If you have concerns about your health status, please call your physician or surgeon’s office for guidance.

If you have serious symptoms, call 9-1-1 right away. Our emergency departments remain open and have every precaution in place to keep you safe during your visit.

Can I go to another hospital for my appointment/procedure?

All hospitals in Ontario face similar constraints regarding the availability of resources, and the need to protect some hospital capacity for patients with COVID-19. The provincial government has advised hospitals to take a gradual approach to resuming services, giving priority to patients with urgent needs. At this time, we would advise you to wait for further direction from your doctor’s office regarding your appointment/procedure. Your doctor’s office will contact you directly when we are ready to reschedule your appointment or procedure. If you have concerns about your health status, please call your physician or surgeon’s office for guidance. If you have serious symptoms, call 9-1-1 right away. Our emergency departments remain open and have every precaution in place to keep you safe during your visit.

What is being done to support safety?

Please visit the screening section of this web page to learn about the special precautions being taken to keep patients, families, caregivers and staff safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

I’d like to provide feedback about my experience. Who can I contact?

If you have feedback about your hospital experience, the following options are available:

Universal Masking

Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance requires all outpatients, visitors, caregivers to wear a mask for the duration of your time at any of our hospital sites. If you come to the hospital wearing a cloth mask, you will need to remove that mask, and wear a disposable medical grade mask provided by the hospital.

Why are patients and care partners being asked to wear masks at Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance?

Physical distancing, or staying more than two metres (six feet) apart from others is the most important strategy to prevent the spread of COVID-19 from person to person. Some people who have COVID-19 may not have symptoms but can still spread the virus without knowing.Because we cannot guarantee physical distancing at all times, we require all patients and care partners wear a mask upon entry so we can keep everyone safe.

Under what authority is this requirement made?

The Ministry of Health has included directions for the use of masking by visitors, caregivers and patients for control of COVID-19 In the following documents.

How does wearing a mask help?

Masks decrease the spread of COVID-19 in two ways. First, people wearing masks help protect others around them by limiting the spread of their own droplets when coughing, sneezing and speaking. Second, those wearing masks protect themselves by reducing the chance of inhaling contaminated droplets from others who are within two metres.

Are additional masks available if needed?

Masks will be handed out at screening stations upon entry to Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance. We will also provide patients and care partners with a new mask if it becomes very wet, soiled, damaged or dropped on the floor. Just ask your health care staff for a new mask.

What should be done with the mask when taken off?

If you will need to put the mask on again, you may remove it safely and place it on a clean piece of paper towel. However, if the mask will no longer be needed, please dispose it in a waste container.

Use hand sanitizer frequently while at the hospital. And, always remember to clean your hands before putting on a mask and after taking it off.

What happens if I can’t wear a mask due to a medical reason?

The use of a mask can be associated with a sense of anxiety. A position paper from the Canadian Thoracic Society has identified that there is no evidence that wear a mask will lead to a flare up of an underlying lung condition.

What if I refuse to wear a mask?

You will not be allowed within any HPHA hospital site to visit or provide assistance for your loved one if you refuse to wear a mask.

You will not be allowed to attend any scheduled procedures if you refuse to wear a mask.

You will be asked to leave by our HPHA screening staff.

If you are in need of Emergency Medical Assistance, please attend the Emergency Department where appropriate precautions will be taken.

Screening

HPHA has closed all non-essential entrances in an effort to control and prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Patients and family/caregivers are asked to enter through the following entrances:
  • Clinton Public Hospital – Emergency Department
  • St. Marys Memorial Hospital – Main Entrance
  • Seaforth Community Hospital – Main Entrance
  • Stratford General Hospital
    • Main Entrances (Cambria St. & West Gore St.) 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.
    • Emergency Department (for emergency care and after hours, 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.)
Anyone entering an HPHA hospital site will be asked to share:
  • your name
  • purpose for your visit
  • if you have symptoms of a respiratory illness
  • recent travel history
Screening information will be recorded to assist with COVID-19 contact tracing and case management if needed. Patient, family and caregiver privacy will be maintained.

Screening may lead to line-ups and delays entering the hospital. Plan ahead. Leave early and allow for extra time. We appreciate your patience.

If you are screened without risk, you will be permitted entry to the hospital. Staff will direct you to your appointment location/loved one’s unit.

Masks
Please note you will be provided with a disposable medical grade mask and will be required to wear it for the duration of your visit. If you come to the hospital wearing a cloth mask, you will be asked to remove that mask. If during your visit, your mask becomes wet or soiled, it must be replaced. New masks can be obtained from health care staff.

Gloves
If you arrive at a hospital site with gloves on, you will be asked to remove your gloves and perform hand hygiene frequently during your visit.

Same-day Re-entry
If you leave the hospital and plan to return the same day, you will be screened again.

If You Do Not Pass Screening
Anyone who does not pass active screening will be provided with the appropriate next steps.

Family & Caregiver Presence Guidelines

Keeping Everyone Safe

The Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance’s (HPHA) top priority is keeping our patients, families, caregivers and staff safe during these challenging times. It is important for the hospital to maintain the practice of physical distancing and limiting the traffic going in and out of the premises. We understand that loved ones, families and caregivers are essential to the health, well-being and quality of life of our patients and HPHA is committed to supporting this.

HPHA has taken a precautionary approach for the control of COVID-19 that follows the Ministry of Health and Public Health guidelines for the healthcare sector. We have taken a careful approach to our Family and Caregiver presence guidelines and will monitor closely and adjust as deemed necessary. HPHA also looks to support from our community to adhere to these guidelines.

Do not come to the hospital if you:

  • Are feeling unwell
  • Have been outside of Canada in last 14 days
  • Have tested positive for COVID-19
  • Have been tested for COVID-19 with results pending (or unresolved)
  • Have had close contact with a confirmed or suspect case of COVID-19
Family or Caregivers will be actively screened prior to entry into the hospital and follow appropriate infection control guidelines at all times. Family or Caregiver will be provided with a disposable medical grade mask that must be worn for the duration of their time at the hospital. Cloth masks will not be permitted. Wet or soiled masks must be replaced and can be obtained from health care staff. 

If a family or caregiver fails screening, they will be referred to an Assessment Centre and will not be permitted to be present with the patient.  Learn more about our screening process. 

Please be assured that you are safe coming to any of the HPHA hospital locations for all your health care needs. 

  • surfaces that are touched frequently are receiving extra cleaning and attention
  • seating has been rearranged to support physical distancing
  • floors have been marked to space people waiting in a line
  • shared items, such as magazines and clipboards have been removed

 Family and Caregiver Presence Guidelines:

Definitions

Caregiver: as identified by the patient. A person who cares for someone who needs assistance to manage their condition, disability or language barrier and would be at risk if alone. *Caregiver badges may be obtained from the Patient Experience Office.

Family: as identified by the patient. A person who is a spouse/domestic partner, family member, sibling, parent, grandparent, neighbour and/or friend.

Guardian: a person who has the legal right and responsibility of taking care of someone who is a minor

We ask that family, caregivers or guardians be 16 years of age or older, however special circumstances will be considered on a case-by-case basis

One family, caregiver or guardian may accompany a patient:

  • Who is giving birth
  • Who is an infant or child attending an outpatient procedure
  • Who is an infant or child attending an emergency department visit
  • Who requires assistance to manage their condition, disability or language barrier (a caregiver badge can be obtained through the Patient Experience Office)
  • To an outpatient appointment*
  • To one of our Emergency Departments*
  • Undergoing a surgical procedure*

*Accompaniment to outpatient appointments, emergency department and surgical procedures: based on patient numbers, department space and to maintain physical distancing, family or caregiver may be asked to wait outside or in their car while the patient receives care and treatment. 

Patients who are critically ill or receiving end-of-life care:

HPHA supports multiple family and/or caregiver presence however, to support physical distancing only one person will be permitted at a time with the patient.

Patients in Pediatrics or Special Care Nursery

HPHA supports two family or caregivers however, to support physical distancing only one person will be permittd at a time with the patient. 

Outdoor Visits

For safety purposes there will be no outdoor visits.

While in the Hospital

Family or caregiver must remain in the patient's room and will not be permitted to leave for smoking, running errands, etc.  Exceptions will be made for communication with care providers, meals and washroom use.  Patient washrooms must not be used.  Public washroom access is limited, please inquire with the unit where the patient is receiving care for locations.

When Leaving the Hospital

Family or caregiver is not permitted to linger in hallways or spend extended time in public areas such as lobbies, waiting areas, cafeterias and vending areas, other than to make a quick food purchase or use the public washroom. 

Staying Connected

HPHA is committed to patient centered care and will assist patients, family and/or caregivers to stay connected with free WiFi and telephone/TV services. Tablets can be made available for virtual connections as needed.

Food and Personal Items for Patients

Only food that has been prepared in a commercial kitchen inspected by Public Health will be permitted to be brought into the hospitals.  Meals, snacks and beverages are available in the cafes and vending machine locations.

To maintain Infection control standards and safety for our staff and patients, only the approved items listed below may be brought in for patients.

  • glasses, hearing aids and dentures
  • new toiletries only
  • new grooming items – toothbrushes, combs, hair brushes, razors
  • personal items- books, magazines, puzzle books, family photos etc.
  • mobile phone/tablet,
  • clean clothing 

Special requests for non-approved items must be directed to the Manager of the Unit where the patient is receiving care.

We thank you for your partnership and support with keeping our patients, families, caregivers, staff and community safe.

If you have any questions or concerns with the HPHA Family & Caregiver Presence Guidelines During COVID-19 please call the HPHA Patient Experience Office at 1-888-275-11-2 Ext. 2423

These Guidelines have been reviewed and endorsed by the HPHA Patient Partnership Council.

 

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Surgery During COVID-19

To ensure the health and safety of all staff, physicians and patients at HPHA, please follow the guidance below when preparing for your surgery and on the date of your procedure.

Click on the links below to access information and instructions.

Caregiver Support

Caregivers are more important than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID-19 Community South West Region Pandemic Planning Table recognizes the increased strain and challenges of caregiving during this time.

By clicking the link below, you will find a one-stop shop of information and resources to support caregivers in Grey Bruce, Huron Perth, London Middlesex, Oxford and Elgin.

Click here for information and resources for caregivers.

Temporary Suspension of Volunteer & Auxiliary Program

HPHA has temporarily suspended our Volunteer and Auxiliary Program to minimize the risk to our volunteers and to further reduce the number of individuals coming into hospital. We look forward to bringing our dedicated volunteers back into our hospitals and rescheduling our community and special events.

For More Information