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Picton hospital loses three beds

Quinte Health Care officials today announced QHC Prince Edward County Memorial will have three fewer general medicine beds  following a decision to transfer inpatient beds to Belleville from Picton.
Another two beds in Picton will now be designated for patients who are waiting for a bed in a long-term care facility to allow these patients to stay closer-to-home. Currently, some nursing home ready patients receive their care at QHC Trenton Memorial.

Susan Rowe, director of communications, reports the decision comes after physician and administrative leaders at QHC analyzed patient care data and bed utilization trends over the past 18 months. They determined that the Picton community has not required the full 22 general medicine beds to serve local residents, while the medicine unit at QHC Belleville General is over-capacity.

“Any Prince Edward County residents who can stay at QHC Prince Edward County Memorial now will continue to stay in Picton in the future,” said Mary Clare Egberts, QHC President and CEO. “I am confident that this decision will not impact the number of services at the Picton hospital site and there will continue to be surge capacity for the high demand months. This transfer of beds does, however, ensure we have more capacity in Belleville to care for patients from right across the region who require more specialized care, such as inpatient surgery, cardiology, critical care and rehabilitation.”
QHC will evaluate the changes over the next three months, looking at various patient care indicators.

“While the physicians of Prince Edward County are disappointed to see the loss of any beds from the Picton hospital, we appreciate the commitment of QHC Senior Administration to keeping all of our nurses employed and keeping Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital vibrant and viable into the long term,” said Dr. Josh Colby, speaking on behalf of his family physician colleagues in PEC. “We remain deeply committed to providing the highest quality healthcare to our patients at the Picton hospital and throughout all of QHC, and will continue to work closely with all QHC physicians and allied healthcare providers to do so.”

The next step will be to meet with union partners to review the proposed plan, however, QHC has committed that no QHCPECM staff will involuntarily leave QHC or be transferred to another site as a result of these changes.

QHC and the Prince Edward Family Health Team continue to work together on the long-term redevelopment plan that would include a new primary care hospital in Picton, complete with inpatient beds, a 24-hour Emergency Room, diagnostic services, outpatient clinics, family physicians and community support services all operating together in one location. The partners expect that draft plans will be ready for consultation in the first quarter of 2011 and then go to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care in mid-2011.

“I am committed to ensuring that QHC Prince Edward County Memorial has a vibrant future. We believe this integrated model will be a model for sustainable, primary rural health care in Ontario,” said Egberts.

About Quinte Health Care:
Quinte Health Care has 1600 staff members and 280 medical staff with privileges who provide a wide spectrum of specialized health care to residents living in Prince Edward and Hastings Counties and a portion of Northumberland County. Care is provided across four hospital sites (QHC Belleville General, QHC North Hastings, QHC Prince Edward County Memorial and QHC Trenton Memorial) and includes 260 inpatient beds, four emergency departments, operating rooms at three sites, a rehabilitation day hospital, a children’s treatment centre, diabetes education, ambulatory care clinics and community mental health programs.

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