No overnight stays at Boundary Hospital in Grand Forks, says Interior Health – Kimberley Daily Bulletin


Boundary Hospital in Grand Forks (BH) is temporarily closed to overnight stays due to a vital shortage of nurses, the Interior Health Authority (IH) confirmed on Wednesday, March 23.

Dr. Shallen Letwin, vice president of clinical operations at IH, said the closure affects 12 beds on an inpatient ward near the hospital’s emergency room (ER). There have been no disruptions to the emergency room, which remains fully open to patients, Letwin said.

All 12 beds were occupied Wednesday morning, by which time Letwin said the hospital had begun discharging some patients from the ward to home care while transporting others to nearby hospitals, depending on their health needs. .

Letwin said he and his management team at IH decided to close the ward because there were not enough nurses on the ward to safely care for patients overnight. BH has enough doctors working at the moment.

There should be six nurses running the night shift on rotation. “Right now we have one,” Letwin said.

There were recently about seven nurses on rotation in the ER when there should have been 10. The hospital has since pulled nurses from other departments to ensure that ER patients will continue to receive comprehensive care and safe 24 hours a day.

IH hopes to reopen night service “absolutely as soon as possible,” Letwin said, noting he couldn’t specify a firm timeline. The service will come back online in a phased approach as more nurses join us, he explained.

IH had been aware of the decline in staff at BH for ‘many months’, but the shortage worsened as hospital nurses went on temporary leave, either to continue their training or to take care of family matters. . Letwin said BH has not lost any permanent nursing staff due to the province’s vaccination mandate, which now requires all healthcare workers to be at least partially vaccinated against COVID-19 by the end of the month. .

“The entire healthcare industry is starting to look for more professional staff. It’s not unique to Grand Forks or British Columbia,” he continued.

IH is ramping up its recruiting efforts through online postings, job fairs and consultations with educational institutions, where Letwin said the health authority is reaching out to recent graduates. IH works closely with the provincial Ministry of Health.

Letwin said he spoke with Grand Forks Mayor Brian Taylor on Tuesday when he said they discussed plans to maintain and expand inpatient treatment at BH.

Anyone admitted to BH’s emergency room who needs an overnight stay will be triaged and transported to a receiving hospital in the area, Letwin said. No one has been turned away from the ER, and neither will they be, he said.

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