Long Term Care Services will be enhanced in Gull Lake in 2014

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Health Centre will be closed on weekends and statutory holidays

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Beginning in late-January the Gull Lake Special Care Centre will be welcoming expanded professional nursing coverage to its long term care services that will result in improved care for residents of the facility.

The increase will result in consistent access to professional service that allows better accommodation of pain control and increased symptom treatment for residents.

Through discussions with residents, family members, and staff, it has been apparent that enhancing professional nursing coverage in long term care is a priority for health services available within the community. Previous staffing levels, where professional nursing coverage was limited during night time hours, required on-call Registered Nursing (RN) staff to respond to the facility for instances such as pain control, resident falls, and other situations that arose. The expansion of Licensed Practical Nursing (LPN) service coverage from 12 hours per day to 24 hours per day will ensure that residents have access to professional care at any time during the day or night.

“We’ve had very encouraging discussions with our residents, their families, and our staff throughout the health region on what the needs are for staffing in our long term care facilities. We know through those discussions that professional nursing coverage 24 hours per day in long term care has been identified as a priority need in the health region and will provide the best utilization of dollars in this facility,” commented Gloria Illerbrun, Executive Director of Health Services with the Cypress Health Region.

A recent retirement allowed the region to explore the opportunity to enhance staffing levels in the Care Centre. It was through this process that a decision was made, in the interest of long term care resident safety and quality of care, to revise the hours of the Health Centre and reinvest the dollars saved into long term care.

Effective Jan. 26, 2014, the Health Centre located within the facility will be open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday to Friday. During these times patients will continue to be able to access the emergency outpatient department, visiting healthcare professionals, and lab/diagnostic imaging services (lab/diagnostic imaging hours: 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.). The Health Centre will be closed on Saturdays, Sundays, and statutory holidays. Current hours of the Health Centre are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days per week. This adjustment will be made on a temporary basis for 12 months at which time it will be evaluated.

“We strive to provide the best possible services to our patients and residents within the financial resources we have available. We realize that the change in Health Centre hours will have an impact at times on how community members access healthcare services, but we believe that the outcomes gained by making these changes will provide the biggest benefit to the community,” added Illerbrun.

During the hours that the Health Centre is unavailable, community members will continue to be able to access emergency medical services by calling 9-1-1 and non- urgent medical care via HealthLine at 8-1-1.

The Cypress Health Region’s website is regularly updated with the latest information on hours of operation and disruption notifications. You can visit the website any time by logging onto www.cypresshealth.ca.

Organizations: Gull Lake Special Care Centre, Cypress Health Region

Geographic location: Gull Lake

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