The 18-bed inpatient unit at South Bruce Grey Health Centre’s Chesley site has reopened as scheduled following a temporary closure from July 22 to October 1 for construction. A $2.75M infrastructure project has been underway since March 2019 to replace the facility’s air-handling units, and install a sprinkler system throughout the site.
The temporary closure was initiated to allow the contractor to set up a larger work area and minimize disruption to patients and staff. During this 10-week period, 10 additional beds were temporarily opened at SBGHC’s Durham site.
The infrastructure project, funded by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care through the Health Infrastructure Renewal Fund (HIRF), is expected to be complete later this month, and will be on budget.
“I would like to thank our patients and their families for their patience and understanding during the construction, and also to our staff and physicians in Chesley and Durham that have worked so well together to ensure a seamless transition,” says Michael Barrett, SBGHC President and CEO.
In addition, with local community investment from the Chesley & District Health Services Foundation, renovations are underway to install new nurses’ stations in the emergency department and inpatient unit, add an accessible washroom to the waiting area, renovate the laboratory, refresh patient rooms with paint and new lighting, and create a safe room in the emergency department for mental health patients.
“This substantial investment in the Chesley hospital will ensure that this facility will be able to operate efficiently for years to come, and ensure that the site will meet the upcoming provincial requirement for hospitals to have a full sprinkler system by 2025,” explains John Gilbert, SBGHC Board Chair.
The temporary reduction in emergency department hours at the Chesley site will continue as SBGHC works to address shortages in nursing staffing. The emergency department will be only operating from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM, and will be closed overnight from 8:00 PM to 8:00 AM. The reduced hours of service are a temporary measure, and will extend until Saturday, February 1, 2020, when the nursing staffing complement will be evaluated to ensure that it has been stabilized enough to reopen 24/7.