Work is underway on renovations to the emergency department at the Lacombe Hospital and Care Centre.
Alberta Health Services says the renovations will feature improved treatment spaces, a new waiting room, barrier-free washrooms and other amenities. The project also promises improved visibility of the waiting area from the triage desk, so staff can more easily monitor patients for changes in their conditions.
“This project is significant and will have a range of benefits,” says Kimberley Sommerville, site manager at the Lacombe Hospital and Care Centre. “This work will help ensure we’re able to deliver the best care possible in a safe and functional environment for years to come.”
AHS says every effort will be made to minimize the disruption to patients during construction, which is expected to be completed by next fall.
The first phase of the project involves the temporary relocation of the ED to a section of the acute care unit within the facility. This relocation is necessary to ensure patient and staff safety during construction.
The public entrance to the ED will not change, and all patients presenting to the department will continue to receive care.
The ambulance bay closed Tuesday in order to create a new traffic pattern for EMS crews and public driving in. AHS says a designated parking location will be provided for ambulances at the front of the building while patients, visitors and staff are reminded to pay attention to, and abide by, all posted signage.
“We are making every effort possible to limit the impact of this work to our patients, physicians, staff and EMS partners,” says Sommerville. “We know construction work of any kind can cause some frustrations, but safety is our primary concern and is the reason for the temporary relocation of the ED and traffic disruptions around the site.”
Total cost for the project is pegged at $3.1 million.
AHS is contributing $1.8 million for construction, project design and consulting engineering. It has been funded through the Government of Alberta’s Infrastructure Maintenance Program (IMP).
The Lacombe Health Trust has pledged $1.3 million in community donations towards the project for new equipment and construction costs.
“We have the opportunity to make a real, measurable and significant difference in the delivery of healthcare in Lacombe,” says Jim Dixon Jr., Board Chair of the Lacombe Health Trust. “I’m so grateful for the unwavering support of our many generous donors – from individuals to businesses to groups – who have made this project possible.”
The emergency department in Lacombe sees about 24,000 visits each year.
(Troy Gillard - with file from AHS media release)
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