For Immediate Release
March 31, 2014
LONDON, Ont. – London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) today announced its 2014/2015 budget plans. To address an expected funding reduction from the province of approximately 0.5 per cent, as well as inflationary costs and continuous improvement priorities, LHSC has defined cost reduction plans of $37.2 million for fiscal 2014/15 – or 3.4 per cent of its $1.1 billion in total funding – to deliver a balanced budget. No layoffs are anticipated as a result of this plan however there will be reductions in hours worked equivalent to 107 full time positions over the year as efficiencies are realized.
In developing its plan, LHSC’s first objective was to identify savings opportunities outside of direct patient care areas, focusing on broader administrative areas, through a variety of measures. This has been an ongoing approach which has positioned LHSC amongst the most cost efficient hospitals in Ontario in terms of the per cent of budget spent on administrative functions*, meaning LHSC consistently allocates more of its budget to patient care and services than most hospitals in the province.
In addition, all departments and services in the hospital were asked to identify savings strategies equal to 1 per cent of their budget. The remaining cost reduction plans result from efficiency gains in clinical operations.
Altogether, a reduction of approximately 107 full time equivalent (FTE) positions, including 27 nursing FTE positions, is planned over the course of the year. It also includes approximately 41 FTE cleaning positions as cleaning hours for non-patient care areas across the hospital (ex. meeting rooms, staff areas) are reduced. All reductions of work will be managed within the normal turnover experienced at LHSC and are expected to be transparent to patients with no impact on quality standards.
Recognizing that medical quality must underpin all decisions, the 2014/15 budget process was led by Dr. Mark MacLeod, Chair of LHSC’s Medical Advisory Committee, which is accountable to the Board of Directors for the quality of care provided to patients. “It is clear that, through benchmarking with peer hospitals, we can effectively implement proven models of care that are delivering quality services in a more efficient manner,” said Dr. MacLeod. “This strategy has worked well over the past 2 years and was once again our focus when clinical service efficiencies were considered for this year’s budget. In addition, because LHSC is a massive enterprise, savings achieved through further standardization of process - what we do and how we do it - can be expected to increase quality and improve the patient experience.”
The health system must transform to be sustainable for future generations and LHSC is highly supportive of the direction taken by the province to increase primary care and community supports needed to alleviate the current volume pressures on hospitals.
“During the last fiscal year LHSC has, on average, operated at 103 per cent occupancy - a full six per cent over our target of 97 per cent occupancy, making flow into, through and out of hospital a serious challenge for care providers and a frustration for many patients,” said Murray Glendining, acting President and CEO, LHSC. “It is clear that future population health needs will put even greater strain on system resources, so there is a burning platform to change the way we all do business as a system. Our plan at LHSC for 2014/15 and beyond will centre on that premise and we are committed to working closely with system partners to foster improved health outcomes through services delivered in the best setting for the people we serve.”
About London Health Sciences Centre
London Health Sciences Centre has been at the forefront of medicine in Canada for 138 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, University Hospital, Victoria Hospital, the Kidney Care Centre, two family medical centres, and two research institutes – Children’s Health Research Institute and Lawson Health Research Institute. As a leader in medical discovery and health research, London Health Sciences Centre has a history of over 65 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:
London Health Sciences Centre
Corporate Communications and Public Relations
519-685-8500, ext. 75155
Call LHSC Switchboard at 519-685-8500 and ask to page the communication consultant on-call