By Cecilia Nasmith
A celebration of partnerships was the first order of business at the March board meeting of Northumberland Hills Hospital.
One key partner is The Landmark senior-care facility in Cobourg which, through a provincial-funding arrangement that runs through the end of March, is designed to alleviate the ALC problem at NHH.
ALC stands for Alternative Level of Care, and refers to patients who no longer require acute-level care at the hospital but are not well enough for discharge without certain community supports being in place – often a long-term-care ed is required, and these are in short supply.
Through the end of March, certain eligible ALC patients can be transferred to The Landmark, which will free up a bed for someone requiring acute care. It's a move to alleviate the hallway-medicine problem that featured prominently in June's provincial election and, as board chair Beth Selby pointed out, it allows the hospital to focus on better patient care.
“I do hope it will go into the next fiscal year,” Selby added, referring to the hospital's March 31 fiscal year-end.
A newer partnership is that of the hospital's Community Mental Health Service with Northumberland Community Counselling Centre and Rebound Child and Youth Services to open a twice-weekly walk-in counselling (with no appointment and no referral) for young people aged seven to 16. This service will be offered Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Community Mental Health Services office at 1011 Elgin St. W., Suite 200, Cobourg.
“It's a fantastic partnership,” hospital president and chief executive officer Linda Davis said.
“We hear over and over again there aren't enough services for youth, so this is just a fantastic partnership.”