Community Update

September 2, 2020





A special edition of The Pulse 

Reaching Zero

North York General reaches zero in-patients with COVID-19

On August 10, North York General Hospital celebrated having no in-patients with COVID-19 for the first time in more than 23 weeks. We couldn’t have done it without the support of our amazing staff, physicians, learners, volunteers and of course our patients, families and entire community who united beside us to help stop the spread of the virus. Although we know these things always change in a matter of minutes, its important we recognize these small steps forward.

While this is a critical and welcome milestone, we are not letting our guard down. We are actively planning for a Fall that will see the return to school of thousands of children and teachers; increasing people in the workplace and the onset of our normal flu season. We will apply what we have learned in the last several months and will continue to work beyond our hospital walls with all our partners to care for our community.

Capital Redevelopment

Transforming our environment to prepare for the future

Recently, we transitioned our remaining outpatient programs and services from the Branson site to two new locations on Consumer Road and Champaign. Our teams have worked hard to successfully get these programs up and running at our two new sites – doing so during a pandemic is no easy feat! While the COVID-19 Assessment Centre remains at Branson, work is underway to revitalize the site to create a new Reactivation Care Centre (RCC), which provides specialized care for patients transitioning out of hospital.

Back in February, the Ontario Ministry of Health approved a Planning Grant for North York General to develop a new RCC. Planning and design are underway to create 128 new transitional care beds, of which 64 are allocated for North York General. The new RCC beds are intended to help ease capacity challenges with occupancy planned for next spring.

Pilot Program to Reduce Wait Times

Direct Access Beds program to improve hospital wait times

The Ontario government has chosen North York General Hospital as the site to test Direct Access Beds, an innovative program that gives alternate level of care hospital patients direct priority access to long-term care beds at Seniors’ Health Centre. With the support of the Ministry of Long-Term Care, the pilot aims to identify new ways to reduce waitlists and end hallway health care.

North York General usually has upwards of 40 in-patients who no longer require acute care and require an alternative level of care.  When acute care beds are occupied by patients who are waiting to go to a care setting in the community, it results in fewer hospital beds available. With Direct Access Beds, 10 percent of long-term care beds at Seniors’ Health Centre will be available to eligible North York General in-patients. These are patients who have been waiting for at least 60 days for a long-term care home placement and have chosen Seniors’ Health Centre as one of their preferred destinations.  

Return of Volunteers

It has been five months since most of our volunteers have had the opportunity to provide service at NYGH. We are grateful to our Virtual Friendly Visitor Volunteers at Seniors’ Health Centre and our Patient & Family Advisors who have continued to provide support virtually. And, as hospital operations are resuming, we are excited to gradually welcome back more of our volunteers in a phased approach.