20 new long-term care beds coming to the Comox Valley

20 new long-term care beds coming to the Comox Valley
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The new long-term care spaces will be adjacent to The Views at St. Joseph's.

Better access to long-term care is weeks away in the Comox Valley as Island Health funds 20 new beds.

“We understand how hard it is right now to safely and properly care for elderly loved ones, and that’s why this investment will help ensure seniors are supported and treated with dignity and respect,” said Health Minister Adrian Dix.

“This is a good step to providing better care for seniors in the Comox Valley.”

The 20 new beds will be located in a newly refurbished unit at the former St. Joseph’s General Hospital in Comox, adjacent to The Views at St. Joseph’s, an existing long-term care facility operated by Providence Residential and Community Care Services Society.

The new beds are a part of Island Health’s long-term response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Providing our aging population with safe and supportive care is a priority for Island Health,” said Leah Hollins, Island Health board chair. “These new beds will create more long-term care spaces for seniors living in the Comox Valley, while supporting efforts to maintain reduced capacity in our hospitals during these uncertain times.”

Although Island Health wants to recognize the progress made for flattening the curve and keeping confirmed cases relatively low on the Island, it warns about a potential second wave of the virus in the fall, when other illness usually take the stage.

The health region says creating new spaces in long-term care allows various levels of care patients to be moved out of the hospital to reduce capacity for acute care beds and placing patients in more appropriate settings.

“The decision to open this second-floor unit was based largely on our value of service — of stepping up even in challenging times,” said Jane Murphy, President & CEO of Providence Residential & Community Care Services Society.

The beds will be funded to meet the province’s target of 3.36 direct care hours per resident day. The 20 beds will be in use at St. Joseph’s until summer 2021, when 120 permanent, publicly funded beds are set to open in the Comox Valley at Ocean Front Village.

This announcement comes as more pressure will be put on the health care system to catch up on those waiting for elective surgeries, as hospitals on the Island are set to begin these surgeries soon.

Renovations to the unit are currently underway and the beds are expected to be ready for patients in the weeks to come.


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Rebecca LawrenceRebecca Lawrence

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