Jennifer MacKenzie, VCH Richmond’s chief operating officer, wrapped up a series of All-Staff Forums on June 29. At the sessions, MacKenzie provided a CoC update that highlighted the many service improvements made in Richmond over the past year.

All-Staff Forums highlight service growth in Richmond

I’d like to extend a heartfelt thank you to everyone who came to one of the four Richmond All-Staff Forums, held in late June. I know it’s difficult to carve-out time from your hectic days, so I appreciate the effort it takes to attend.

As was the case last year, demographics continue to drive our work as Richmond is the fourth fastest growing city in BC with the fastest growing senior’s population (70+) in the province. This fact — and the fact that seniors want to remain in their own homes for as long as possible – will continue to guide how we provide care across the Richmond.

The following is a summary of what I spoke about at the forums. If you have any comments or questions, I’ve love to hear them.

Richmond’s first Primary Care Home

Richmond’s first Primary Care Home (PCH) launched in March in Steveston in partnership with the Richmond Division of Family Practice. At it, VCH Richmond provides shared psychiatric care, an RN, Social Worker, Nurse Practitioner and OT; all of whom are currently working with 3 GPs to provide wrap-around care for high needs clients.  By fall, we expect to have another 3 GPs on board in Steveston and will eventually expand the PCH concept to more GP offices across Richmond.

Creation of the PCH addresses our need to re-balance the system of care such that 80% of the care any client needs is available through their doctor’s office.

Richmond’s first Community Health Centre

Development of a Community Health Centre (CHC) is a brand new strategic initiative, and will enable us to align our goal of keeping people out of hospital and in their own homes with the help of community supports.

Located in the same building as our Mental Health and Substance Use (MHSU) services — Richmond Adult and Older Adult Mental Health Teams and the Anne Vogel Clinic — our new CHC will enable us to integrate our care for MHSU, frail seniors and chronic disease patients, and is a key piece of the care-provision puzzle missing from Richmond. Our CHC represents an opportunity for us to re-imagine how Acute and Community work together, and to apply innovative solutions to create the best care possible for our patients and clients.

Work has begun on this project, and we are aiming to have it open by late 2018.

Home & Community Care is growing

We opened our Community Care Clinic in 2016 and immediately quadrupled treatment capacity. We are now providing care to 40% of all home care at this clinic. We were only providing care to 20% of home nursing clients from the former clinic on Cook Road.

We have also substantially reduced wait times (that previously sat at more than a year!) for access to Adult Day Programs in Richmond. How? By opening 25 new spaces (serving 125 more clients) at Austin Harris Residence in Steveston, and by providing Saturday ADP spaces at Kinsmen Care Centre in central Richmond.

We’re also part-way through a process that will see us increase the number of available hospice beds in Richmond from 8 to 16. Those new beds will open in 2019.

MHSU services strengthened

By increasing capacity to the Acute Home-Based Treatment (AHBT) team for adults with psychiatric illness or uncomplicated withdrawal, we have reduced time to access from six weeks to a matter of days. We have also created walk-in appointment times at the Anne Vogel Clinic and Transitions to ensure timely access for those seeking recovery through substance misuse treatment.

In mid-June, we opened nine new withdrawal management beds; five in the community and four beds in Acute. These beds as part of the provincial commitment to create 500 addiction spaces province-wide by 2017. They feature wrap-around support from addiction medicine physicians (5 days-week), and expanded addiction nurse coverage (7 days-week) through the Drug and Alcohol Resource Team (DART).

Faster access to residential care 

We have greatly reduced wait time for residential care beds in Richmond. Today, the wait to access a bed sits at weeks rather than months. We’ve accomplished this through the addition of 75 interim residential care beds. To date, 56 of these beds have been purchased in neighbouring communities, with the balance of bed purchases concluding later this year. These interim beds will serve us well until our new beds at Hamilton Plains in East Richmond and Fraserview Lodge in South Richmond (a total of 210 new beds) are ready for rolling occupancy, starting in 2019.

VCH Richmond’s residential care bed situation will further improve when the new Richmond Lions Manor is eventually reconstructed on its former Fentiman Street site in Steveston. Planning is underway for this new 144-bed facility, and we’re hoping to share more good news about this project in the near future.

Returning people home whenever possible

With expanded community-based services in place, patient flow from Acute to Community will remain a key initiative through 2017 and beyond.

When people arrive at our ED for care, we must determine quickly whether the patient’s care needs are best addressed from home or hospital. This is when our EDiCARE process and Quick Response Team (QRT) jump to action. If admission to Acute is not needed, appropriate community supports are arranged. By working in tandem, EDiCARE and QRT can increase fluidity between Acute and Community, allowing us to use our finite number of acute-care beds with optimum efficiency.

Thank you for all you do

And that is a lot of work! I want to acknowledge the tremendous job that each and every one of you are doing across the Richmond Community of Care to treat the ever-growing volumes of patients, clients and residents who need your care and attention every day. Thank you for everything that you do. Your hard work is immensely appreciated.

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