As Lakeridge Health moves on to the next stage in the redevelopment of the Bowmanville hospital, staff say lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic will be incorporated.
Minister of the Environment Dave Piccini was at the hospital site on Friday, March 11, to announce that Lakeridge staff are moving on to stage two of the hospital expansion process with the end goal of getting shovels in the ground in 2025.
Kelly Pasnick, patient care manager of the Bowmanville ER and ICU, thanked both the government and the Lakeridge board of trustees for moving toward a hospital expansion.
“This redevelopment is a sign of hope for us and gives us something to look forward to,” she said. “(Somewhere) that we can provide the best care in this community in a clean and modern space where we have room to do what we do best.”
Mark Murphy, senior director of capital planning and redevelopment, explained that stage two of the redevelopment process involves his team working with the different groups in the hospital to map out how the hospital needs to fit together, which departments need to be adjacent to each other in order to provide the most effective care.
“It is floor plans, but it’s more than floor plans, it’s what type of service needs beside another type of service,” Mark Murphy, senior director capital planning and redevelopment for Lakeridge, explained. “So if you have a critical patient, how can you get that patient treated in the most expedient way, and (have) the programs and services revolving around how the patient gets treated?”
“At its core, when a patient comes here in crisis, they don’t care who serves them. They just need care,” added Piccini. “You’ve got communicating nurses, you’ve got lab technicians, you’ve got doctors on site. And how does that communication happen and what departments need to be beside each other to make sure it’s a seamless experience for the patient?”
He said that this will be one of the first projects in Ontario that will be able to incorporate lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dr. Tony Stone, chief of staff for Lakeridge Health, said with the expansion he expects larger rooms, one patient per room, and airflow and safety features to deliver modern care.
The expansion will include a modernized emergency room, larger ICU, and the growth of about 50 beds.
“The full slate of services is something that will be decided on and determined through this next stage, called functional planning,” Stone said.
“I’ve been part of some discussions of what modern hospitals do and what they look like. It’s a sort of modular thinking where you have a structure that can be used for a variety of different programs so it’s no longer about creating something that only has one purpose, a lot of them are multi-purpose in design.”
After stage two, the next steps are design and going to tender for construction with shovels expected in the ground in 2025.
A Bowmanville resident himself, Stone said conversations about a Bowmanville hospital expansion have been in the works for years and he’s looking forward to it finally happening.
“This expansion is huge for Clarington,” he said. “We’re watching what’s going on in the east side of the GTA, everyone’s watching the growth… It actually has an important role for all of Durham because the way we have structured our hospital network. It’s an integrated system.”
Clarington Mayor Adrian Foster also noted the importance of the expansion and thanked the government and Lakeridge for moving forward with the project.