Story by: Kayla Kreutzberg
Photo by: Kayla Kreutzberg
The Groves Memorial Community Hospital is lending a helping hand to other hospitals to cut down on the growing wait lists for procedures.
Stephen Street, President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at the Groves Memorial Community Hospital said during the first wave of COVID-19, many services in Ontario were shut down.
“Efforts were made for hospitals to come together and come up with different ways of seeing how we can work with our surgeons and patients to try to catch up on the backlog, and this includes both surgeries, but also diagnostic procedures,” Street said.
Street said all the hospitals within the Waterloo-Wellington region meet on a regular basis, a few times a week, and their clinical teams are working together to come up with some ideas to alleviate the wait lists.
“At the Groves [Hospital] site, we’ve got a new facility with state-of-the-art surgical suites, and we identified some capacity working with our surgeons and our scheduling to free up some blocks, so we offered that up for other hospitals [to use],” Street said.
Street said St. Mary’s General Hospital in Kitchener has identified a couple of surgeons that are looking to take advantage of the space Groves has offered up in the new year.
He said that a number of their staff have also been crossed trained to work in diagnostic imaging, and they were able to take some patients who were on wait lists in Kitchener-Waterloo for CAT scans, earlier this month.
Street said they rely on other facilities for their intensive care units (ICU) when it comes to COVID-19 positive patients here.
“The new Groves Hospital and our North Wellington Health Care sites do not have ICU’s, so we would be sending our COVID-19 positive patients who are in need of critical care to their centres,” he said.
Street said they work back-and-forth to ensure they’re leveraging the scarce resource of acute in-patient hospital beds, as best they can.
He added that the Fergus assessment centre is now open seven days a week, which is now more convenient for people to get tested as they navigate through all the COVID-19 restrictions.