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Hamilton hospitals set up new non-acute downtown campus

The former Crowne Plaza Hotel will get a new lease on life as a non-acute care hospital setting. Called an Alternate Health Facility, the joint venture by  Hamilton Health Sciences and St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton will help the two hospitals sustain in-hospital space for patients with acute care needs while gearing up for any COVID surge that might occur.

The hospitals had been trying to work through a backlog of non COVID surgeries when the Pandemic eased in July and August, but new provisions had to be made when the recent upsurge in new COVID cases. A provincial directive forces Ontario hospital to make available 10 per cent of acute care capacity in the event of a surge in COVID-19 cases.

The AHF, named the Hamilton Health Sciences and St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton Satellite Health Facility, will be a temporary, off-site hospital facility where patients who no longer require hospital care will continue to receive health care while they prepare to transition to community settings, such as retirement or long-term care homes. This will help ensure beds for patients requiring admission to hospital.

Several teams from across the two organizations have been planning a tentative patient move-in date of mid-October. Upon opening, the facility will have 60 beds, with the potential to open up as many as 150 beds as needed. Currently St Joes is reporting only one CVID case requiring hospitalization, while Hamilton Health Sciences, which does not post exact numbers reports “less than five” COVID hospitalizations. Overnight Hamilton Public Health reported 10 new COVID cases.

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