Tillsonburg District Memorial Hospital (TDMH) has opened an additional 10-bed unit, announced Sandy Jansen, President and CEO, on Wednesday. The hospital will utilize $494,000 in temporary funding received from the province to pay for the extra patient accommodation.
TDMH has been bursting at the seams for more than a year, with no relief in sight. The additional beds will help to relieve the overcrowding and reduce wait times for patients waiting for a bed in the Emergency Department. The hospital has been dealing with an ongoing, unprecedented demand on services. TDMH is currently funded for 45 beds, but frequently reports occupancy rates well above 100%.
“We are experiencing a perfect storm right now,” Jansen said “TDMH has been running well over 100% occupancy for many months as we struggle to find long-term care beds for our patients. The situation is compounded however with the surging flu situation".
"We're told that we haven't really hit the peak of the flu season yet,” Jansen added. “Even those patients who are lucky enough to have a nursing home bed to return to are forced to stay in hospital as many long-term care homes across Oxford County are experiencing outbreaks due to respiratory or stomach bugs and cannot take their patients back.”
Jansen confirmed that despite the high volumes of patients, TDMH staff are committed to ensuring that they continue to provide high quality and safe care. At least once a day, the care team makes staffing adjustments to manage the high volume of patients.