by Karen Morgan – Executive Director, SPHHF –
Over the last few months, many people have said to me “these are interesting times!” I usually reply with: “May you live in interesting times? I’m told this is an old Chinese curse!”
And yet, here we are. The staff at the Saanich Peninsula Hospital have worked hard to care for us (when needed) and keep us all, including residents in our Long-term Care Unit, safe. I’ve never been more proud to call these wonderful people my colleagues.
Donors and visitors to our Facebook site let us know how much it meant to them that the Emergency Room was transformed into a safe, secure and streamlined space. Family members let us know how much it meant to them that Long-term Care staff went above and beyond to ensure that they could at least have window visits with their loved ones. What we didn’t see is that Long-term Care staff also worked very hard to ensure that some semblance of normality was maintained for residents.
Shoreline Medical made the leap to virtual physician visits overnight – or so it seemed. I know it took a bit longer, but it was a great case study in innovation in record time. We are so fortunate to have 23 committed, compassionate physicians in this community-supported clinic, who demonstrated their willingness to try something new in order to keep on caring safely for their patients in the face of a pandemic.
Island Health, thanks to support from the provincial government, has committed funding to try and help all of us return to normal. SPH’s Operating Rooms will operate longer hours to try and clear the surgical backlog. Medical Imaging has moved to seven days per week service to ensure that people waiting for X-rays and CT Scans get them as soon as possible.
If you need to come to the hospital, things will look very different. At the front entrance, a temporary wall restricts entry completely. You are met by a “greeter,” who checks to see where you are booked for service, and then arranges for you to be met and guided by a hospital staff member. Only patients (and caregivers, if the patient needs assistance) are permitted to enter the hospital. Hand sanitizing and masks are an absolute must for anyone coming to hospital!
Over in Long-term Care, you are also met by a greeter, but because Dr. Henry recently loosened visitor restrictions, families are now permitted to visit outdoors. The Foundation purchased some tents, which have been set up in the gardens to provide protection from sun and rain.
The Saanich Peninsula Hospital and Healthcare Foundation will continue to look for opportunities to assist the Saanich Peninsula Hospital and Shoreline Medical to provide the care you need, when you need it.
Visit www.sphf.ca for more information.