Telephone Town Hall

Lakeridge Health connected with thousands of households across Durham Region through two telephone town halls on February 22, 2018 and March 22, 2018.

The hour-long events were hosted by Jerry Archer, familiar to many as an on-air personality from KX96. Jerry was joined by Lakeridge Health’s President & CEO Matthew Anderson and Chief of Staff Dr. Tony Stone who shared updates about hospital services, outlined what Master Planning is and why it is important and answered questions from participants.

Throughout the events, participants were asked a series of polling questions to provide valuable insight into the communities serviced by Lakeridge Health and provide feedback on what’s going well and areas for improvement.

There were numerous questions posed during the telephone town hall and due to the significant interest, not all questions were answered during the live event. In the section below, questions during the event have been consolidated into themes and answered below.

What is the future availability of cataract surgery at Bowmanville Hospital?

Lakeridge Health is committed to providing access to those services people living and working in Durham Region need most. This includes Cataract Surgery which is one of the major services provided by the Eye Care Centre at the Bowmanville hospital.

How is Lakeridge Health planning to address the growing need for access to physicians in Durham Region?

Lakeridge Health is using multiple strategies to attract and retain physicians. This includes leveraging partnerships with academic centres like Queen’s University to provide internships opportunities within our local hospitals. Often physicians who train locally continue to practice locally and establish their practice. Another strategy is to work with our local physicians to better understand how the organization can improve to help better support patients’ access to service, how to better support flow of patient information and coordination of services.

What are Lakeridge Health’s plans to help patients and families with transportation to and from the hospital?

We have heard a number of concerns about barriers to accessing health care services across Durham Region through our Master Plan consultation process. We are committed to working with our regional partners to collectively improve transportation.  In addition, we are focused on looking at technology solutions like telehealth to help support better access.

Are there plans for another acute care hospital with a full emergency department to be built in Durham Region?

Lakeridge Health is currently planning how and where acute health care services will be delivered for the next 20+ year through our Master Planning process.

To help inform this work, Lakeridge Health has been doing community consultation over the past month and has gathered input and feedback through more than 5,000 interactions with residents.

This work will continue over the coming months. The Master Plan is expected to be finalized and submitted to the Capital Branch of Ministry of Health and Long Term Care by March 2019.

Are there any plans for Lakeridge Health to partner with walk-in and urgent care clinics in Durham Region to help with Emergency Department wait times?

Improving the patient experience in our hospitals, particularly in our Emergency Departments, is one of Lakeridge Health’s top priorities. Over the coming months we will be focused on innovative partnerships to help improve access to services people need most and this includes exploring new types of partnerships with community health care providers.

What is Lakeridge Health doing to improve the patient experience for seniors?

Improving the patient experience is a top priority for us.  Over the last few years, through renewed and focused efforts we have enhanced our processes and policies to be more supportive of the aging population.

Through focused efforts on being more responsive to the health care needs of patients especially our seniors and vulnerable patients Lakeridge Health has developed creative strategies to support more seamless transfers to more appropriate care providers in order to improve the quality of life for these people. One of our innovative strategies includes the Safe Transfers and Responsive Transitions (START) initiative. This work has supported people deemed Alternative Level of Care to be well-supported at discharge, reduces readmission and ensures safe and timely transitions. In addition, the opening of a new Geriatric Transition Unit at Ontario Shores in partnership with Lakeridge Health and the Central East Local Health Integration Network, means seniors with dementia and complex conditions will receive care and treatment in an environment better able to support patients transitioning home or to another community setting. 

We will continue our focus to improve access to care and services throughout the health care system by working with care partners to ensure the people in our community receive the right care, in the right place, at the right time. We will adopt supportive approaches to allow people to move from hospital smoothly back to home and within the community. Further, we will implement best practice approaches to support our seniors in the prevention of falls, delirium and wound care.

What can Lakeridge Health do to positively influence local and provincial system approach to healthcare?

Lakeridge Health continues to relentlessly focus on providing the best care for people in Durham Region and for patients throughout the Central East Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) who rely on regional programs. We continue to concentrate on creating and sustaining partnerships with other health care providers to ensure that our community receives a seamless patient experience. We also monitor health care trends and the changing needs at the local, provincial and national levels to inform our short and long-range planning activities and align our work with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) and the Central East LHIN priorities and strategies.

How is Lakeridge Health improving the quality of care provided to patients?

As we grow local and system leadership within the Ontario health care sector, our priority is to focus relentlessly on quality and performance improvement. In 2018/19, we will focus on tackling waiting times for care through internal and external partnerships; providing extra support to seniors – particularly as they move from the acute care system back into the community; and implementing best practices to enhance patient safety while people are in hospital.

As the Central East LHIN lead for the Regional Opioid Strategy, Lakeridge Health will support implementation of medical assessments and supports through Rapid Access Addiction Medicine Clinics, including two located within Lakeridge Health locations. We will implement new models of care to support people with Mental Health conditions to positively influence patient outcomes and quality of life.

Why are Emergency Department wait times so long at Lakeridge Health?

Wait times at Lakeridge Health’s emergency departments are as good as or better than our peer hospitals.

On average, a patient’s length of stay in the ED is 6.21 hours for highly acute individuals and 2.83 hours for people who are less acute.

How is Lakeridge Health planning for diversity in Durham Region?

To ensure the organization is responsive to current health issues and reflects the diversity of the communities we serve, Lakeridge Health is promoting, adopting and beginning implementation of an Inclusion, Diversity and Engagement Framework. The framework will increase health equity and reduce disparities; result in an internal team that better reflects the community; and ensure governing/advisory/planning committees are reflective of the population we serve.

Adopting this framework across the organization will start this Spring.

Will labour and delivery services be part of the Bowmanville redevelopment?

Lakeridge Health is committed to providing access to services families in Durham Region need most.

The advanced approval of the Bowmanville Hospital expansion by the Minister in January 2018 is reflective of the understood needs of the Clarington area and the important role the Bowmanville Hospital plays in the Lakeridge Health system. It is anticipated that as part of the Ministry’s approval of the Bowmanville Hospital expansion, it will expect us to undertake a detailed and comprehensive assessment of the clinical needs for the community now and well into the future. We would expect that consideration of labour and birthing services would be part of that assessment.

Why do hospitals including Lakeridge Health charge so much for parking? What do the fees go towards?

At this time, there is no government funding to support hospital parking facilities, so hospitals pay to make parking services available through parking fees. Hospitals use the revenue generated from parking to support patient care activities and to upgrade hospital services and equipment. 

We recognize parking fees can be a burden for individuals who use the hospital on a regular basis and we have different options for parking. 

For more information about parking at Lakeridge Health, please visit: https://www.lakeridgehealth.on.ca/en/patientsandvisitors/parking.asp

If you have any additional questions about the Master Planning process at Lakeridge Health, please email: buildingforthefuture@lakeridgehealth.on.ca