Wednesday, April 30, 2008
By Rik Ganderton
President and CEO
Our improved model for mental health care at Rouge Valley Health System has received much media coverage.
But lost or buried is the fact that the new model will improve mental health care by –
• Increasing expert mental health crisis intervention services from 12 hours (8 on weekends) to 16 hours a day, seven days a week at the Ajax and Pickering Campus.
• Maintaining our outpatient services at Ajax and Pickering Campus. Outpatient Mental Health Care serves the vast majority of mental health patients
• Continuing access to all mental health services, including emergencies, through our Ajax and Pickering Campus
• Consolidating specialized Mental Health Nursing expertise for inpatient care so that more hours of nursing care will be provided to those patients who require treatment on an in-patient basis.
• Adding a further eight beds to General Medicine at the Ajax and Pickering Campus to improve patient flow and reduce wait times in our Emergency Department.
We are also exploring alternate patient care uses for the space that will be vacated in the Ajax and Pickering Campus. Among the alternate uses is the possible addition of more medical beds at our Ajax and Pickering Campus to further reduce Emergency Department Wait Times. These would require additional funding which we are discussing with the LHIN.
THE NEXT THREE YEARS
Furthermore, there has also been a considerable amount of misrepresentation by some parties as to the number and nature of jobs we must eliminate over the next three years. The facts are –
• 220 positions will go over three years: 60 at the Ajax and Pickering Campus; and 160 at the Centenary Campus.
• Of the 60 jobs at Ajax and Pickering Campus, 36 are Mental Health staff who will be re-employed at Centenary Campus; in other words they are not losing their jobs.
• Of the total positions being eliminated over the next 3 years, 72 are nursing. However, the nurses currently filling those positions will have the opportunity to move into newly funded positions such as those required for the expansion of the specialized Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (14) and the Ajax and Pickering Campus (60) as well as the other options described below.
It is our strongly held belief that almost no person will have to leave RVHS involuntarily. Our normal staff turnover rate is about five per cent a year, which represents 150 positions a year. In addition we will –
• Fill vacancies in areas not being restructured.
• Provide early retirement and voluntary exit packages in accordance with our collective agreements, which cover more than 90% of our staff.
• Provide retraining to support redeployment.
• Fill new positions created by our expansion projects.
Our three-year plan represents changes for the better. Rouge Valley will be a top performer in the healthcare system. We will deploy staff at similar levels to our best performing peers. We will improve the quality of care we deliver and reduce wait times in our Emergency Departments. We will live within the money provided to us.
We know we can do this because we have compared ourselves against other Ontario hospitals. We have seen how they treat patients more quickly, with better service quality and lower resource use than Rouge Valley. As we do this we will continue to grow our services in conjunction with the directions of the Central East Local Health Integration Network.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
By Rik Ganderton
President and CEO
So much to say. Firstly, my thanks and thanks from our executive team and the Board of Directors to our nurses, security, physicians and all staff involved in handling a significant incident in our Emergency Department at the Centenary campus on April 16.
We placed the Centenary Emergency Department on redirect status following the incident in which a patient seriously injured himself late that morning. Staff and physicians responded immediately to the situation and in handling the redirection of ambulances and emergency patients like the professionals they are.
OUR RECOVERY CONTINUES
We have been busy in healthcare partner and public consultations concerning our improved new model of mental health care delivery.
Much has been reported in the media. For clarity, please reference the information posted on our web site since March 25.
From the consultations, we have been able to better define issues, such as transportation of patients and families, which we will address during the next five months before our improved model of mental health care is put into place.
It’s important that our patients, families and communities—in addition to all of you—know that this model represents better access to our services by:
• Increasing crisis services from 12 to 16 hours a day, seven days a week at both campuses;
• Maintaining our outpatient services, which serves the majority of mental health patients at both campuses;
• Ensuring access to all mental health services, including emergencies, continues at each campus;
• Pooling expertise for inpatient care.
Our Rouge Valley Ajax and Pickering mental health information page has much more detail on this.
More information is available online at www.rougevalley.ca and at www.centraleastlhin.on.ca.
We have received funding from the provincial government as announced on April 13. That funding is not new and will not change our need to become more effective as we move up to the standards of the best community hospitals in Ontario.
We also remain focused on implementing our Deficit Elimination Plan so that we can effectively reduce our $78 million long-term debt and working capital deficit.
You’ve heard me say it many times in our Town Halls, but it’s worth repeating: we know we can perform with the best hospitals in Ontario—a top quartile performer rather than average, or worse. Rouge Valley is striving to be among the best of Ontario community acute care hospitals in both quality and effectiveness.
Having met many of you during the last year, I know we have the dedicated, high quality staff, physicians and volunteers to achieve this.”
Monday, April 14, 2008
By Rik Ganderton
President and CEO
Rouge Valley Health System
On Sunday, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care announced a $667 million funding boost for Ontario hospitals to address new beds, more surgeries and shorter wait times.
While the actual amount for Rouge Valley Health System is still be to announced by the Central East Local Health Integration Network, we are pleased to receive any additional funding and thank the Ministry.
It is important to note that this additional funding does not change our financial challenge. We remain focused on implementing our Deficit Elimination Plan so that we can effectively reduce our $78 million long-term debt and working capital deficit. These additional funds will be a positive first step in getting our financial house in order so that we can better focus on the future healthcare needs of our communities in west Durham and east Toronto.
Our plan is about more than simply reducing our debts and deficit. Rouge Valley is now focusing on performing at higher standards of effectiveness, as other hospitals do. You’ve heard me say it many times in our Town Halls, but it’s worth repeating: we know we can bring ourselves to the benchmarks of the best hospitals in Ontario—a top quartile performer rather than average, or worse. Rather than aiming for the median, or average, Rouge Valley is now striving for top-quartile performance in quality and effectiveness.
Having met many of you during the last year, I know we have the dedicated, high quality staff, physicians and volunteers to achieve this.
Details of our Deficit Elimination Plan are available on the Intranet.