London Health Sciences Centre at Capacity - Patients facing long waits

(LONDON, Ontario) – London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) continues to struggle with high numbers of alternate level of care patients awaiting long term care beds and a lack of available acute care beds resulting in canceled scheduled surgeries, long waits in the Emergency Departments and patients receiving care outside of patient care rooms.

“The public, patients and families are thanked for their patience during these busy times. These circumstances also pose significant challenges for all of our staff and physician members and they are to be commended for their compassionate care of our patients and families, and for their continued diligent hard work and perseverance. Our first priority is the health and well being of our patients and we will continue to maintain high quality patient care,” says Cliff Nordal, President and CEO, LHSC.

Patients are seen by a doctor in order of their need and not time or method of arrival. Emergency Department staff will make every effort to keep you informed as to wait times. Please be aware that patients coming in with more serious symptoms and ambulances bringing in patients with potentially life threatening illnesses will be seen first.

To assist LHSC in being able to serve patients needing a bed for surgery or illness, we request that patients and families follow our check out times and arrange for a ride and, if needed, assistance for going home.

To assist the hospital with the high levels of patients in the emergency departments, the public is asked to consider the following options:

• Contact your family doctor or a walk-in clinic for any illnesses that are not urgent or life-threatening;
• For health advice and general information 24 hours a day, seven days a week contact Telehealth Ontario 1-866-797-0000; and,
• If you must come into the Emergency Department for treatment be prepared for longer waits and please bring only one additional individual with you if necessary.

If you are short of breath, have chest pains or have experienced a serious injury, you should phone 911 or go to your nearest Emergency Department.

If you are unsure as to where to go, phone 911 or go to your nearest Emergency Department.

About London Health Sciences Centre
London Health Sciences Centre has been in the forefront of medicine in Canada for over 130 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 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 30 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 10,000 staff, physicians, students and volunteers provide care for more than one million patient visits a year.

For more information contact:

Rachelle Wood
Corporate Communications and Public Relations
London Health Sciences Centre
519-685-8500, ext. 77642
Rachelle.wood@lhsc.on.ca

After-hours assistance:
Call LHSC Switchboard at 519-685-8500 and ask to page the communication consultant on-call

Last Updated October 1, 2008 | © 2007, LHSC, London Ontario Canada