Friday November 21, 2014




Beds cut at Skinner Unit

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Sunrise Health Region (SHR) has announced it will reduce the number of beds on Skinner Unit to 35, a reduction of fourteen beds.

The Skinner Unit is one of the units of the Yorkton and District Nursing Home and it is designed for care of residents with health conditions requiring behavioral management; this includes persons in the progressive stages of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.  

“Currently, there is a mixed population in Skinner Unit with some of the residents not requiring the level of care provided on Skinner Unit,” offered Roberta Wiwcharuk, VP of Integrated Health Services with the SHR.

The needs of these residents can be met in other units of the same building, she said.

“Their needs can be managed in different areas of the nursing home,” she said.

Wiwcharuk said the residents who will be transitioned will only be moved after consultation with the residents and their family. The health region will work to transition eleven residents into other long-term care beds in the same building in Yorkton or, if it is the wish of the resident and family, into another long-term care facility, she said.

Once the move is complete, a process likely to take several months as beds in other facilities come open, will allow for the closure of the 14 beds, said Wiwcharuk.

“The region has assessed that the current needs for long term-care can be met with these beds removed from circulation after the transition,” detailed a SHR release.

While the move will mean change, Wiwcharuk said the public needs to understand resident welfare remains paramount to the SHR.

“First and foremost we will continue safe and healthy long-term residents,” said Wiwcharuk.

“The transition will be carefully managed to consider the needs of the current residents, persons in the community assessed for priority long-term care placement, and persons who are awaiting transfer. After the transition is complete, Skinner Unit will continue to operate with 35 beds,” stated the release.

With the closure of 14 beds within the Skinner Unit, there will also be a loss of staffing positions.

“Definitely there will be less staff needed in those areas . . . We’re looking at that with the Union,” offered Wiwcharuk, who said at the end of the process 7.49 full-time equivalent positions will be trimmed. She said it is hoped most can be found through vacancies, retirements, and staff movements within the SHR, as opposed to direct staff lay-offs.”

An adjustment to long-term care will also occur in Canora.

The Canora Hospital is a 16 bed acute care facility with an additional eight beds in a wing that has been used for long-term care.

“The long-term care residents in Canora Hospital do not have the benefit of living in a building which is designed for long-term care and do not have the same access to recreation and socialization spaces,” noted the release.

“Three residents currently living at the Canora Hospital can be accommodated at the Canora Gateway Lodge. The health region is consulting with the residents and their families to determine the resident’s preferred long-term care facility and to arrange transfer. After the transfers are complete, the long-term care wing at the hospital will be utilized for acute care.”

The Canora Hospital acute bed numbers will remain at 16; with most being converted to private rooms.

Wiwcharuk was asked if the bed closures and related moves were in response to the deficit the SHR ran in 2013-14, and continue to follow in the current budget year?

“We always need to manage the budget,” she said, but added “the decision to make these changes are based on quality considerations.”


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