Since the Victoria Hospitals acute care facility has closed, the Grace Hospital wait times have gone up as much as 32%. 14 hours used to be the median “length of stay” has now heightened to 18.4 hours. All of this is just after the first phase of the WRHA consolidated plan.

Originally the WRHA projected the number of patients at the Grace would increase by 43%, but it ended up being higher than that. The number of admitted patients increased by 51%… 8% higher than estimated, which has ultimately driven up wait times.

After the first three months of changes, ALL hospitals had an increase in number of admitted patients. All exceeding the WRHA predictions. Health officials blame it on flu season, but if they haven’t incorporated the flu spikes into their predictions, then they’ve got bigger problems than they’re letting on.

The second phase – which includes shutting down Concordia and Seven Oaks hospitals as acute care facilities – could get worse as it’s expected to see admission rates skyrocket a further 73%. The question has to be asked… How are 3 hospitals going to handle  the volume of patients that a previous 6 hospitals served?

While patient flow has been improved, including Emergency Department wait times and length of stay, there are barriers to achieving further improvement. In last weeks evaluation report it states “Inpatient beds at the three acute hospitals have been frequently at or above 100% occupancy since October 3rd. This results in patients continuing to back-up and wait for admission in their EDs”.

“While some initial improvement in the output from EDs was achieved in 2017, it appears to have slowed down or stalled.” said the report.

With a bit of musical chairs (hospital beds) happening, will the overall capacity be there to handle growing patient volumes, especially with the baby boomers ageing?

What we conclude is, at this point is… no. With a 73% projected increase in admitted patients where every other projected increase has been largely exceeded, it is hard to believe that the facility will be able to handle the overall capacity.