As COVID cases continue to increase across the province, Grey Bruce Health Services is increasing our bed capacity to support our own patients, and to take patients from other regions that have become overwhelmed.  

This past Wednesday was opening day for the new 10-bed Transitional Care Unit (TCU) at the Meaford Hospital. This new unit will serve alternate level of care (ALC) patients who are awaiting admission into long-term care and/or retirement homes. There are a high number of ALC patients across the GBHS Corporation, and some of these patients will gradually be transferred into the new Meaford unit.  Two patients have been relocated from the Royal Victoria Hospital in Barrie to free up space for that hospital to care for COVID positive patients. This new unit is not set up to accommodate patients with COVID-19. 

The Meaford Hospital has a 15-bed Medical/Surgical unit, which will continue to operate as normal.

In the words of the Manager of the Meaford Hospital, Rebecca Wuerth-Sarvis, “it has been a whirlwind five days. Everyone pulled together quickly. We repaired walls, fixed washrooms, created a central nursing station with a console for the patient call-bell system, brought in new beds, upgraded the panels for suction and oxygen above each bed, added a medication room, and painted. The crew was amazing.”

Years ago, this wing of the hospital was for long-term care patients, and most recently housed the Day Away Program, which moved out earlier this month. Once the weather warms up, patients will have access to the patio and lovely gardens created by the Meaford Hospital volunteer gardeners.

This project was the last big local initiative for Wuerth-Sarvis, who starts her new role as Manager of the GBHS Wiarton and Lion’s Head Hospitals on May 3. Graham Fry, currently the Manager of the GBHS Owen Sound Emergency Department, will take over as the Manager of the Meaford Hospital.

GBHS extends its gratitude to the staff and physicians, including those staff who have been re-deployed from other GBHS hospitals, for caring for patients in the new unit, and to all who played an important part in getting this unit up and running in record time. The TCU will be in use until capacity issues across the hospital system stabilize.