More Beds Now!

A Research and Public Advocacy Project

Join us in our ‘More Beds Now!’ advocacy work to ensure our government meets our community’s important need for an adequate supply of healthcare beds.

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Write your MLA and Island Health and provincial government representatives using the information provided below and with the addresses provided under Contact List

The Comox Valley hospital has a serious over-capacity crisis. We have a continuously growing, larger than expected number of patients competing for a short supply of hospital beds.

Hallway hospital care is becoming an operational norm. Too many patients are waiting in hospital for a care bed to become available. While priority needs to be placed on solving the care bed shortage, the need for hospital expansion warrants examination.

We need to dispel the myth that our hospital over-capacity problem will be solved with the opening of the planned new residential care facility by 2021. It won’t! The number of care beds required will have doubled and the hospital occupancy situation will be the same as now and likely worse.

We are deeply concerned about the quality of patient experience for all hospital patients and for the many patients waiting in community (at home) for a care bed and their caregivers.

While we welcome Island Health’s initiatives to improve quality of home care so that we may all live at home for as long as we possibly can, this should not be a forced choice for patients that need a care bed.

Cost should not be a barrier to providing an equitable, adequate standard of healthcare for our community and for our most vulnerable seniors. Nor should a lack of action. We need a plan now!

Some key facts:

North Island hospital campuses had the highest occupancy rates (Campbell River @ 120% and Comox Valley @ 114%) compared to all other Island Health hospitals (@ 103% combined average)

The growth in number of Comox Valley hospital patients who need hospital care and who are waiting in hospital for a care bed has significantly exceeded BC Statistics based estimates

The hospital opened on October 1 2017 at a 129 bed of a 153 bed 10-year design capacity

On August 24 2018, its capacity increased to 146 beds and on September 5 2018, almost all 21 new transition beds (for patients needing care beds) at The Views were allocated to patients waiting in hospital

Since these changes that could have been expected to result in a 92% occupancy rate, the hospital’s monthly occupancy rate has averaged at 112% (and has never been below 101%) due to continued growth in its number of patients

On January 11 2019, the hospital occupancy rate was 138% with 202 admitted patients of which there were 21 AAP patients (“Assessed Awaiting Placement” for a care bed)

This was down from the 31 AAP patients on March 15 2018, however on April 18 2019, there were 34 AAP patients

The March 2018 Request for Proposal for 151 long term care beds for the Comox Valley was not enough and not soon enough

With 51 of these care beds already included in our total system capacity, only the new 120 care bed facility will add new beds to our current capacity and not until 2021

Given that the number of planned new beds were not enough to meet estimated 2017 requirements and that Comox Valley’s requirement increases by an estimated 32 beds per year, we estimate that by 2021, we will need at least another 151 care beds

With a doubling in care bed demand, we can expect that after the new care beds become available, the hospital over-capacity situation will be the same as it is now and since real hospital demand will be up, it will likely be worse

By then, we estimate hospital occupancy levels in the range of 160 to 199 patients on average

Local Island Health management for Geography 1 is responsible for healthcare operations including the hospital and home care support but not residential care

The individuals responsible for residential care are Mark Blandford, Executive Director Primary Care and Seniors Health and Tim Orr, Director, Residential Care, both located within Priority Populations and Initiatives in Victoria

We invite you to review our research in presentation format:

More Healthcare Beds Now!

and for our detailed supporting analysis, refer to:

Comox Valley Healthcare: The Case for More Beds Now!

Comox Valley Hospital Capacity Fact Sheet

Our March 2018 research demonstrated that Comox Valley has not received its fair share of residential care beds compared to BC and Vancouver Island.