KAWARTHA LAKES-Residents have fought hard but it appears plans to close the Minden Emergency Department are going ahead.
Officials with Haliburton Highlands Health Services who operate the Minden Hospital released their plans for the closure of the Minden Emergency Department today. It will be consolidated with the Haliburton site.
Management says staff have been working hard on the plan.
“HHHS is grateful for the incredible work of our hospital, clinical, facilities, IT, and support teams and managers, as well as our other partners, in confirming the detailed consolidation plan,” said Carolyn Plummer, President & CEO of HHHS. “Our staff are the experts when it comes to patient care and their working environment, so it was important that they were able to be part of this process.”
The Haliburton site currently has one physician 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM and one physician 6:00 PM – 8:00 AM. They say they will be adding one additional physician 9:00 AM – 9:00 PM.
Officials say they will be adding one additional RN 7:00 AM – 7:00 PM with additional RN 7:00 PM – 7:00 AM, access to additional RPN 11:00 PM – 7:00 AM (shared with acute care unit), additional summer RN shift to start June 1st, 1 Charge Nurse during the day for the initial transition period
Staffing will be assessed regularly and adjusted as needed according to officials.
Staffing for Diagnostic Imaging at the Haliburton site will remain status quo along with staffing to maintain bone densitometry and outpatient x-ray services at the Minden site by appointment. The plans include increased hours at the Haliburton site for Patient Registration, Lab Services and Security Services.
Staffing was one of the main reasons for the closure according to Plummer.
“The decision to consolidate was based on severe and on-going shortages of physicians and nurses at both the Haliburton and Minden sites, with HHHS needing to bring together its services and staffing at one site in order to maintain any emergency services in Haliburton County. The Haliburton site was chosen because it is the location of the only in-patient (acute care) beds in Haliburton County, which require physician coverage from the Emergency Department in case of a medical emergency.”
ED spaces are increasing from 9 to 14/15 with 1 new trauma bed to be added bringing the total to 3. The consolidated space will have 1 new procedure/treatment room with a stretcher and 2-3 chairs with the ability to interchange 1-2 chairs with a stretcher if needed, 1 fast-track/rapid assessment room with exam table and physician workspace, waiting room spaces increasing from 14 to 27 and Laboratory space is being expanded.
The plan calls for approximately 15 additional patient parking spaces will be made available by adding six new spaces on HHHS grounds for staff parking. Dysart et al has approved the use of a portion of the far side of the medical centre parking lot for staff parking.
Medical supplies from the Minden site will be transported to and installed at the Haliburton site, beginning June 1st (earlier where able) Medication inventory is being adjusted at the Haliburton site to address increased volume.
Just after midnight on June 1st no further patients will be registered at the Minden ED and any remaining patients in the Minden ED will be seen by a physician and a treatment plan will be determined. Any remaining patients requiring care beyond 0400h will be transported to Haliburton ED via EMS.
Thousands of local residents and cottages signed petitions, attended rallies and spoke out at Queens Park in opposition to the closure. Read more here:https://www.kawartha411.ca/2023/04/25/residents-of-minden-area-vow-to-fight-to-keep-emergency-department-open-video/
HHHS says it will also continue exploring options for short-term and long-term use of the Minden Emergency Department space, with conversations with the community to be initiated after the transition.