The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority plans to open up 65 new transitional beds that will help hospital patients get back home sooner and improve long-term health outcomes, officials say.
“Bringing together clients in a home-like setting improves confidence, independence and, most importantly, health outcomes,” Gina Trinidad, WRHA chief health operations officer, said in a statement.
The WRHA awarded a $9.2-million, two-year contract to All Seniors Care to add the beds to its River Ridge II facility on Scotia Street. The plan is tailored for stable hospital patients who are candidates for more short-term interim care upon discharge.
The first 10 patients will move into River Ridge II in October, with waves of 10 new patients added each week until all 65 spots are filled.
“By offering an environment better suited to each client’s care needs, we promote function and quality of life, resulting in improved probability of returning to the community,” Trinidad said.
The WRHA said transitional care beds will give patients time to organize long-term home care supports if needed, or provide time for health-care professionals to determine whether patients are in fact best suited for another “supportive housing environment” or care home.
More transitional beds will eventually be added at community hospitals in Winnipeg, once the health authority’s “Healing our Health System consolidation plan is fully implemented,” the news release says. In the meantime, Victoria Hospital will retain about 28 transitional beds.
“This transitional care environment will provide additional capacity to establish and implement an enhanced home care system — called Priority Home — which will help many clients return straight home with robust home care supports,” the health authority said in a statement.
The announcement comes as the WRHA continues to seek savings after the Manitoba government told the health authority it has to trim $83 million from its budget this year.
The wave of changes to health care started in earnest with an announcement in spring that three hospital emergency rooms in Winnipeg will be closed.