Options for determining the future of The Scarborough Hospital should be released to the public by the first week of February, a senior TSH administrator said this week.
Both TSH and the Rouge Valley Health System, Scarborough’s other hospital, are in the midst of strategic reorganizations prompted, they say, by changes in health care funding and the need to run themselves more efficiently.
On Tuesday, TSH board members were shown findings of the hospital’s Performance Improvement Committee and from the Hay Group, a firm gathering data for TSH which acted as facilitators.
“They helped us identify options,” Anne Marie Males, TSH vice president of patient experience said Thursday, Jan. 17.
“There was a presentation and discussion of the options.”
The board, Males said, agreed all the options “seemed viable” and they should be sent to the hospital’s stakeholders for discussion.
On Monday, Jan. 21, a sub-committee of staff and community members will finalize an engagement plan for this part of the process.
Though not public yet, Males said the options for TSH concern “how to configure our services to create a strong and distinctive role” for both the Birchmount and General campuses, though the board has said the review won’t threaten 24-hour emergency department services or their necessary supports at either campus.
The committee, consisting of chief physicians and administrators of each department, will meanwhile be “fleshing out the options,” many of which would be implemented over more than one year, before bringing them to a board meeting in early March.
For months now, the hospital has tried to explain to residents the context in which its decisions must be made, asking what is important to them and presenting its side of the situation.
“These aren’t simple issues,” said Males, adding more than 600 people at 40 community meetings received this information, and many asked to be involved in later stages of the process.
RVHS has also held community meetings in order to stress to Scarborough residents concerned about services at its Centenary or Ajax campuses there are big changes coming to Ontario’s health care system.
“We know that choosing which specialties to focus our resources on will result in better outcomes,” Rouge Valley’s CEO Rik Ganderton wrote on his blog last month. “We also know that everyone would much prefer to have everything available in their local hospitals.”
This will result in a “balancing act” and there are “hard decisions ahead,” added Ganderton, writing that his hospital’s planning exercise will decide which services to expand, maintain or reduce, and which site or sites should host clinical programs, as well as recommendations for “clearly articulated identities” at both hospital campuses and partnership opportunities in Scarborough and Durham.
He estimated RVHS will need to cut $30 to $45 million in costs over the next three years, including $15 million in 2013/14, though Ganderton said most of next year’s savings are already identified, including recent staff reductions.
The study assumes “community level birthing and pediatric services as well as emergency services will be maintained at each of our hospital campuses in Ajax and is east Toronto,” Ganderton said.
“We are expecting to have a preliminary report in April and will be sharing this with our communities and partners at that time.”