Frequently Asked Questions: May 23, 2019

WLMH ED Registration

We continue to plan for and implement solutions that will allow us to provide safe care for patients until a new hospital is built.

We are grateful to our staff, physicians and volunteers for their daily dedication to our patients and we are thankful for ongoing support from government and the community.

Are there changes to services at this time?

Labour and delivery patients continue to be redirected to Niagara Health – St Catharines Site from Friday at 3 pm to Monday at 7 am. The WLMH emergency department is open 24/7 and all other care and services continue as normal.

What is happening now?

HHS, our doctors and staff are working in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care to determine the best solutions to meet required standards for infection control in the surgical and obstetrical areas of our facility. We need to implement proper sterile and restricted zones and create new areas to store surgical supplies, among other issues.

We are working to determine the solutions that will have the least amount of impact on our services and keep them at the site with minimal interruption. WLMH has a bright future and we will continue to work together to find solutions to our current challenges until we can open the doors of a brand new hospital.

Who is involved in planning next steps?

We are working together with our doctors, staff and the Ministry of Health and Long Term to determine the best way to fix the priority issues including maintaining infection control standards in the surgical areas, while minimizing the impact on the community and on our WLMH team. All parties are in agreement that we can’t continue in the current state. We’re looking carefully at every proposed solution and working as quickly as possible.

These are not easy issues to solve and we want to get this right. The age of the facility poses some limitations. We are working to find options that limit the impact on our services.

Why can’t changes wait until the new hospital is built?

We can’t ignore the safety issues that have been identified and pose infection control risks. Our goal is to protect and maintain services at West Lincoln Memorial Hospital until it is rebuilt. We are looking at the options available to us to fix this problem, including renovations, and will share the outcome of the work very soon.

We are striving to keep any service disruptions limited to the shortest amount of time possible. All of our planning is focused on keeping services in the community for many years to come.

Is a broad range of solutions being considered?

We have considered dozens of options and ideas brought forward by our physicians and staff, also the Ministry and other outside experts, to address the various infection control standards we need to meet at the site. Many of these ideas are now being implemented. Our planning continues and we will share more as plans are confirmed. We are working hard to make those decisions in the weeks ahead.

If changes are needed to maintain services until a new hospital is built, how will patients and staff be impacted?

All of our planning is based on making decisions that will allow us to continue to provide obstetrical and surgical care in our community, and address the risks of working in an old building. We are all committed to keep programs and services at WLMH through this process and carry them over into our new hospital.

We are investigating the need for a short-term renovation project that may take several weeks. This is to upgrade the areas of the hospital where we store sterile surgical supplies.

Where can I find more information and updates?

As planning continues, we will also share information with patients and the public.

For updates, check back on our website.