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For Immediate Release:
June 22, 2011
LONDON, Ontario – Bonnie Adamson, President and CEO, London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC), announced the opening of 69 beds and the hiring of at least 150 full-time nurses since November 2010 at today’s Annual Community Meeting. This includes the 21 short stay beds announced in May as well as beds in the surgery, medicine, paediatric and neonatal programs.
"I am pleased to announce that we are making important investments in our two priority areas – improving patient access and enhancing patient safety,” said Adamson. “This new capacity will ease pressure on LHSC’s emergency departments and in-patient units by making it possible to admit more patients into hospital beds more quickly.”
In addition to these beds, LHSC is planning to invest growth funding to open another 38 beds by fall. This includes 11 mental health beds; three general paediatric beds; two neonatal intensive care beds; six surgery beds; and 16 medicine beds. Recruitment of full-time nurses will also continue. LHSC is working closely with the South West LHIN to finalize the planning and funding related to the increased bed capacity.
As well as the new beds, LHSC has allocated $1.2 million to open a Rapid Assessment Zone at VH’s emergency department and $3.2 million to hire Infection Control Practitioners and to purchase equipment that will reduce turnaround time for lab tests used in the identification of infectious diseases, and new waste management equipment.
“Every dollar invested in patient access initiatives is an investment in infection safety, as occupancy rates impact infection rates,” said Adamson. “Work is also underway to address patient flow processes in medicine, surgery and mental health, as well as coordinated work with our partners related to alternative level of care patients, who continue to occupy much-needed acute care beds.”
The reinvestment in priority areas is possible as LHSC continues to achieve its commitment to stable financial health finishing the year with 4.8% positive margin. For the past several years LHSC has averaged a 2% to 3% surplus as per financial management best practice. The additional positive margin was due primarily to $15.9 million of growth funding (PCOP) related to the occupancy of the new North Tower at Victoria Hospital. This funding was received in the last quarter of the fiscal year.
LHSC has also developed a new vision to guide the organization into the future: Exceptional Experiences, Extraordinary People, and Engaging Partnerships. This vision corresponds to the renewed focus on patient safety and patient access.
“With such skilled, dedicated and caring people making up our organization, I know that LHSC is ready for new beginnings. We have the opportunity to build a great future based on a remarkable past,” said Adamson.
The hospital’s 2011 Report to the Community, including the consolidated financial statement, can be found at www.lhsc.on.ca or by calling 519-667-6760 to request a copy.
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About London Health Sciences Centre
London Health Sciences Centre has been in the forefront of medicine in Canada for 135 years and offers the broadest range of specialized clinical services in Ontario. Building on the traditions of its founding hospitals to provide compassionate care in an academic teaching setting, London Health Sciences Centre is home to Children’s Hospital, South Street Hospital, University Hospital, Victoria Hospital, two family medical centres, and two research institutes – Children’s Health Research Institute and Lawson Health Research Institute, a joint research initiative with St. Joseph’s Health Care, London. As a leader in medical discovery and health research, London Health Sciences Centre has a history of over 50 international and national firsts and attracts top clinicians and researchers from around the world. As a regional referral centre, London Health Sciences Centre cares for the most medically complex patients including critically injured adults and children in Southwestern Ontario and beyond. The hospital’s nearly 15,000 staff, physicians, students and volunteers provide care for more than one million patient visits a year. For more information visit www.lhsc.on.ca
For media inquiries contact:
Corporate Communications and Public Relations
London Health Sciences Centre
519-685-8500, ext. 74772
Call LHSC Switchboard at 519-685-8500 and ask to page the communication consultant on-call