Sudbury Audio

Sudbury hospital has protocol to decide which patient gets the bed in the hallway

Vice president says hospital overcrowding continues because there aren't enough programs in community to help

May 05, 2016

David McNeil, the vice president of Patient Services, says the overcrowding started last fall and has never really gone away. (Claude Gagnon/Radio-Canada)
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Health Sciences North now has a protocol to decide who gets the bed in the hallway as overcrowding continues. The Vice President of Patient Services David McNeil joined us in studio to talk about the situation.  9:24

A hospital administrator says Health Sciences North in Sudbury has been in a state of severe overcapacity since last fall.


David McNeil, vice president of Patient Services, says the overcrowding will continue. He noted there is now a protocol to decide which patients can be moved into hallways or other spaces not meant for patient care.

"Patients wouldn't go in the hallways unless we determined they were clinically stable enough to put into the hallway."

Once again, Health Sciences North is in the public eye for reports of patients recuperating in beds in the hallways. (CBC)

McNeil said he's working with the LHIN on a short-term plan to find care for patients with cognitive problems and aggressive behaviour.

"Right now, many of those patients, several of those patients, end up in the hospital and they end up staying there for a long period of time because we have a hard time finding an alternative location of care for them," he said.

The answer is not a bigger hospital because acute care is costly, he added.

Better care before and after hospitalization is less expensive and would ease the pressure. McNeil said it's less expensive to treat people before they need acute care and provide support and rehabilitation sooner so they can leave hospital.

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