After many hours of work over the last year to identify how to best use our resources and services to respond to the healthcare needs of Niagara residents, we are very excited to share with you high-level details of the plans we have developed for a new hospital in Niagara Falls and a new ambulatory care/urgent care facility in Welland.
A capital development project of this large scale is a multi-staged initiative. We recently submitted the first part of our plan for the Niagara Falls hospital site and the Welland ambulatory care/urgent care facility to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, and we will be submitting the next stage at the end of the month. Our focus will then turn to more detailed planning of the space with the groups who will be using it to provide services.
Our plans are to build a new Niagara Falls hospital, as outlined in Dr. Kevin Smith’s report, located at the corners of Lyons Creek and Montrose roads. This site will include urgent care services as identified in Dr. Smith’s report.
In Welland, we will provide ambulatory care services (for example, outpatient medical and surgical clinics, mental health and addictions services), urgent care services, and long-term care. To do this, we plan to construct two new standalone buildings on the current Welland Site. These two buildings combined will be two-thirds of the size of the current Welland Site.
One of the Welland buildings will be located at the corners of King and Third streets. It will include ambulatory care services, urgent care services, an Ontario Breast Screening Program, a satellite dialysis unit, space for medical learners, and more.
The second Welland building will be a two-storey Extended Care Unit to be constructed south of the existing Medical Arts Building on King Street. This new construction follows our Board of Directors’ recent decision to continue operating an Extended Care Unit in Welland.
In addition to our capital development planning, we are continuing our discussions on looking at how we can work with our primary care partners to meet local needs in our smaller communities. This could involve leasing space locally as opposed to new construction.
Staff and community input is an important part of our planning, and there are a number of opportunities already embedded into this process as a result of feedback we have received. For example, we recently formed a Clinical Planning Advisory Council, whose members include representatives from the hospital, our healthcare partners and from each of our communities in south Niagara. This group provides valuable insight and input into planning, and we will continue to involve our staff and community as we build the best healthcare system for Niagara.
We fully understand how important healthcare is to everyone in our community. Our commitment is to regularly communicate updates as we work through the various phases of planning.