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‘Averaging more than 100% occupancy for over a week’, WPSHC’s Chief of Medical Staff

The West Parry Sound Health Centre’s occupancy level has exceeded 100 percent for over a week now. 

That from Dr. Wil Smith, Chief of Medical Staff, who says the local hospital has been fortunate enough through the summer and early fall to stay just under 100%, which is still busy for them. 

“Once we start getting numbers over 100 per cent as we have over the past week, then things do become a lot more challenging in terms of managing the workload and the workflow for our entire team and being able to see people as quickly as we would like to and deliver the care that we want to be able to deliver,” he says. 

Smith adds the centre had to declare brief periods of gridlock when hospital beds are significantly over capacity with a number of people waiting for them. That means the hospital’s ability to provide service has been outpaced by patient demand. 

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He says an additional factor is the local hospital is impacted by regional partners.  

“Sudbury is our typical regional referral site and unfortunately they have also been stuck with a significant increase in numbers and for most of this past week Sudbury was closed to all but life or limb referrals from any hospital in the region,” he says. 

Smith says  thelocal hospital as well as others in the region adding are all trying to work through it.  

“We think that there is some light at the end of the tunnel. There is some improvement. We are still above 100% (as of Monday) and Sudbury is still above 100%, but both us and our partners in Sudbury are getting some improvements in the numbers and we are hopeful that we will be able to catch up and get our numbers down to below 100%,” he says. 

As of Monday morning, Smith says the centre was 106 percent occupancy. 

“ We’d love to get down to well below 100 if we can, but a lot of that depends on the needs of the community and so we will continue to deliver the care that we need to and respond appropriately, but we are certainly crossing our fingers that we can get back to under 100,” he says. 

Smith says doing so would allow the centre’s teams to have some much-needed rest following what he says has been a very busy last week. 

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