Middlesex Hospital Alliance Starts Gradual Resumption of Elective Activities

June 5, 2020

NEWS FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Strathroy, ON – The Province has now revoked/amended Directive #2. This allows hospitals to begin slowly “opening up” for elective activities that were paused in March due to COVID-19. The Ministry has developed a comprehensive framework to assist hospitals in assessing readiness and begin planning for the gradual resumption of scheduled surgeries and procedures, while maintaining the capacity to respond to COVID-19. The new expectation from government is that we would resume a low level of activities so long as a number of conditions/requirements have been achieved. At this time, we are only looking to expand service options at the Strathroy Middlesex General Hospital (SMGH) site. Future work will be done for the Four Counties Health Services (FCHS), Newbury site.

A gradual resumption of services will allow Middlesex Hospital Alliance to ensure a number of provincial conditions are met as staff and physicians work to restore services, including:

  • a sustained commitment to support long-term-care;
  • adequate supplies of personal protective equipment;
  • adequate supplies of drugs for surgeries;
  • the ability to quickly reduce services if a surge in COVID-19 occurs;
  • maintaining acute care capacity;
  • and options for delivering care in new ways, including virtually

This easing of the provincial directive, however calla for a gradual and incremental implementation of carefully thought-out resumption of scheduled cases.

Please be patient while we take the steps necessary to allow a safe, slow and incremental approach to gradually re-introducing services. SMGH resumed elective surgeries on June 1, 2020. Ambulatory care services will gradually resume commencing the week of June 8th at SMGH. It is anticipated that ambulatory care will restart at FCHS the latter part of June.

Patients will be notified of opportunities to reschedule surgeries and other appointments. Please do not contact the hospital about a postponed appointment.  Patients will be contacted directly by their physician or surgeon’s office.

Resuming scheduled hospital-based care for patients waiting for treatment has to be very carefully weighed with the overriding need to ensure Ontario hospitals can maintain capacity to be ready for any surge in COVID-19 patients.

MHA has worked diligently in preparing a thoughtful and responsible plan that emphasizes safety for our patients, physicians and staff.

We appreciate that this time has been difficult for patients and families, awaiting surgeries and other services. As we gradually and thoughtfully resume services the safety of our patients, staff and physicians is paramount, said T. Stepanuik – MHA President & CEO. He added “COVID-19 has had a significant impact on our patients and their families, and we are committed to doing everything we can to resume care in a safe and thoughtful way.”

At Middlesex Hospital Alliance, the last patient treated in hospital with the virus was discharged in mid-April. However, as a precaution, there are a number of measures in place to ensure patient, physician and staff safety.

  • When arriving at the SMGH site for a scheduled appointment patients are to enter through the main entrance
  • All patients will be screened at the screening station upon entering the hospital
  • Patients are asked to bring their own mask. Should a patient not have a mask, one will be provided. Masks are to be worn throughout the appointment or encounter until they exit the building
  • Patients requiring Emergency Department services will continue to enter through the Emergency Department entrance.
  • All patients will be asked to respect physical distancing requirements while in hospital.  This will be challenging in some patient care areas, and masks will provide an additional layer of protection.
  • Visitors are still prohibited until further notice. Exceptions will be made for special circumstances.

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For local hospital inquiries

Todd Stepanuik

President & CEO

Middlesex Hospital Alliance

Todd.stepanuik@mha.tvh.ca

519-245-5295 ext:5592