Calgary pediatric hospice to resume service after staff redeployed temporarily

Rotary Flames House, a pediatric hospice in Calgary, will see its services resumed starting Jan. 16 after being temporarily paused in early December. (Google Maps - image credit)
Rotary Flames House, a pediatric hospice in Calgary, will see its services resumed starting Jan. 16 after being temporarily paused in early December. (Google Maps - image credit)

For the past six weeks, respite services were paused at the Rotary Flames House, a pediatric hospice in Calgary, affecting about five to seven families per week.

Rotary Flames House provides palliative, respite and end-of-life care for young pediatric patients, as well as grief support for parents. During the closure, palliative care continued to be provided at the children's hospital.

Alberta Health Services had to redeploy staff from the hospice and discharge respite patients as respiratory virus cases surged last month. On Friday, AHS said the situation is improving, so it will be able to reopen the hospice.

"This is a really positive turn of events for us," said Jennifer MacPherson, the facility medical director at Alberta's Children Hospital, during a media availability Friday.

MacPherson said the hospital has seen a gradual decline in the number of admissions and is now sitting below 100 per cent occupancy.

"We are seeing essentially still some significant capacity strains on our system, but we can manage those with the resources that we typically use at this time of year when we have expected viral surges," she said.

Staff are expected to return to work at the Rotary Flames House on Monday, but MacPherson said there's a chance they could start to welcome some children this weekend.