By Sharon Pierson
I would like to update our community on work happening to protect and maintain services at West Lincoln Memorial Hospital (WLMH) until we can rebuild it.
Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) leadership and WLMH site physicians are working around the clock, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, to determine how best to address challenges in meeting the appropriate standards of care in the surgical and obstetrical areas of our facility, with the safe storage of supplies being a particular challenge.
All parties are in agreement that we can’t continue in the current state, nor does anyone want to simply close down the impacted services until the new hospital is built. We want to protect the model of care that we are proud of here at WLMH and get back to running two operating rooms and full-time obstetrics.
We are working on how best to fix the problems while minimizing the impact on the community and on our WLMH team. We will share the outcome of this work once our staff, medical leadership, and Ministry partners have identified the best solution and a plan for going forward.
Meanwhile, the infrastructure renewal work announced by the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care last November is ongoing. This work is not directly focused on safety standards in the surgical areas of the hospital, but it will have a positive impact by addressing things like elevator upgrades, plumbing and electrical work throughout the facility. Thank you to all our patients and visitors for putting up with some noise and disruption while these upgrades take place.
We continue to recruit aggressively for the operating room nurses needed at every HHS site, and are very happy to announce that we have made some new hires for WLMH. Training and orientation for the new recruits will take place over the summer and it’s expected that they’ll be ready to begin their roles in fall 2019.
In closing, we are grateful to our staff, medical staff and volunteers for their daily dedication to the outstanding care provided at WLMH, and we are indebted to the community for their ongoing support as well. WLMH has a bright future and we will continue to work together to find solutions to our current challenges until we can cut the ribbon on a brand new hospital.
Sharon Pierson is Vice President Community Medicine and Population Health for Hamilton Health Sciences