LISTOWEL – The Listowel Wingham Hospital Alliance published a summary of April’s board meeting. Among the highlights were COVID-19 predictions, issues concerning staffing, updates to the proposed addition to the Fisher clinic, a debrief to the Complex Continuing Care outbreak, Nurses’ Week celebrations, and financial updates.
The LWHA report predictions of a 6th wave of COVID-19, resulting in a peak in early or mid May. During previous peaks, the hospital received orders to stop surgeries and ambulatory care. Karl Ellis, CEO of the LWHA, says that they are not anticipating similar orders if a peak does occur.
Absences and temporary employees
The LWHA are reporting more staff absences than any other time of the pandemic. They note that this is a concern given the new wave expected to hit Ontario.
On April 27, the Emergency Orders allowing hospitals to hire additional, temporary employees, will expire. Ellis says that this hasn’t been an issue. They managed to keep their positions by reposting the jobs and rehiring the employees under different circumstances.
Complex Continuing Care outbreak debrief
Following a COVID-19 outbreak at the Listowel site, a debrief was held on April 7. The goal was “to review decisions made, outcomes, encourage reflection and to incorporate improvement opportunities into our next outbreak response.” They are standardizing expectations and investigating opportunities.
National Nurses’ Week is May 9-15. The LWHA is planning a number of activities for all staff – including a truck break sponsored by RBC and provided by Lady Glaze Donuts. Donuts and coffee will be provided to staff at Wingham and District Hospital on May 9 and at Listowel Memorial Hospital on May 10.
Fisher Clinic updates
The LWHA is expanding the Fisher Clinic by building an addition. Architects presented drawings of the proposed building, but “the committee is looking for more granular detail at this point in the process.” The LWHA say that they understand that what was presented was “standard architectural process,” but are looking for more detail in future presentations.
The LWHA notes that they are expecting the new Ontario Budget to increase hospital operational funding by 2 per cent.
The operating budgets were approved for both Listowel and Wingham. Listowel has a small surplus of $97,006. With an additional 1 per cent increase to funding, the projected surplus is $254,035.
Wingham, on the other hand, has a budgeted deficit of $318,554.
With the 1 per cent increase, that will result in $180,835.
Representatives for the Wingham and District Hospital Foundation “presented the annual donation to the Hospital totalling over $870,000.” That brings the total donations from the WDHF to over $10 million.
Connor Luczka, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Listowel Banner