Unit 9 could have 12 psychiatric beds in operation by summer

·1 min read
Unit 9 is the psychiatric ward at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Charlottetown, but was redeployed last spring to be a COVID-19 unit.  (CBC News - image credit)
Unit 9 is the psychiatric ward at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Charlottetown, but was redeployed last spring to be a COVID-19 unit. (CBC News - image credit)

Health PEI says it expects Unit 9 at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Charlottetown to expand by early summer to have 12 beds in operation for Islanders requiring admission for psychiatric care.

Right now the unit has enough staff to cover only eight beds, although it has 20 spaces for patients.

The psychiatric unit was shut down early in the pandemic to make way for COVID-19 patients, but only two people ever needed hospital beds, in April 2021.

In the meantime, the unit became a temporary home for those with dementia waiting to be placed into long-term care.

All of those patients have now been placed in a care home or moved to Unit 3 within the QEH.

Health PEI says capacity in Unit 9 is limited because of its current staffing challenges.

The agency said 10 more nurses and support staff have been hired and are being trained.

While the goal right now is to operate as many as 12 beds, more capacity may be possible in the future, the agency says.

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