Riverside to amalgamate nursing floors

Heather Latter

Riverside Health Care Facilities, Inc. will amalgamate the two nursing floors at La Verendrye Hospital here onto one effective Oct. 12, with Complex Continuing Care and Pediatrics being moved down to St. Andrew’s.
As first reported in Friday’s Daily Bulletin, Riverside president and CEO Wayne Woods said it’s mainly occurring because of “low [patient] census.”
“At any point in time, we may only have 15-20 patients in the hospital in total,” he noted. “And it seemed prudent to us to combine the two floors for a short period of time.”
Woods indicated staff have been sent home because of the low patient census, and that Riverside didn’t feel it was right to constantly be leaving the staff wondering whether they are working the next day or not.
He added the amalgamation will last for 13 weeks, and be monitored daily.
“We’ll see what happens after that. If the [patient] census continues to be low, we may stretch it out,” Woods said.
But he also stressed a contingency plan is in place so should there be an influx in patients during this period, they can convert back to two floors within 12 hours.
“So if all of a sudden we get an influx of patients, then we can move really quickly,” Woods remarked.
He explained Complex Continuing Care, which is chronic patients, will be moved from the second floor to the first floor (St. Andrew’s), which houses the acute patients.
“Because we have 33 rooms on the St. Andrew’s Ward and there are only eight patients in CCC, so we’re going to move them down and let them occupy one of the 33 rooms,” Woods indicated.
Woods also wants people to understand this to be a temporary amalgamation, not a closure.
“That’s not the case,” he stressed. “It’s just the fact that it’s easier to manage when it’s all on one floor.”
The amalgamation will result in staff being temporarily laid off.
“Until we get things sorted out and see where the go,” Woods said, citing those staff members affected already have been notified.
As well, Woods stressed patient care continues to be their prime concern during this time.
“Certainly we’ve thought this thing through and at this point in time, it makes sense to do it,” he said.