New Estevan Regional Nursing Home Committee (ERNC) has approved a report regarding the need for a new, updated nursing home in Estevan.

The reports, entitled "Replacement Business Case Options" outlines the shortcomings in the current nursing home and recommends building a new addition to St Joseph's Hospital.

The report states that the "facility does not support current accessibility standards or nursing care needs, with residents housed primarily in substandard accommodations. The 70-bed facility is condensed into 2,202m2, whereas current best-practices provide wheelchair accessible washrooms, ceiling lifts, private sleeping areas and decentralized dining and activity program space set up to serve 12-15 residents. Space issues are evident when you compare the size with a similarly planned facility of ~5,800m2 following Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) spaceguidelines."

"Worn out and outdated finishes contribute to excess number of infection outbreaks. Together building failure results in unnecessary and increasing annual spending on maintenance and repairs."

The report further stated that "significant disruption to residents and significant disruption to residents and staff occurs as plumbing, electrical breakdown and general maintenance projects are completed. An outdated stand-by generator contributes to safety risk during electrical outages. The standby generator configuration requires extension cords to connected to resident oxygen concentrators located in resident rooms. In these emergency situations, extension cords provide tripping hazards, further contributing to staff work disruption and additional time as well as managing increased safety risks within the facility."

As well, the report states that the current facility does not meet basic care standards or privacy requirements which also contribute to the higher than normal infectious outbreaks.

The report offers two options. The first is a complete renovation and expansion of the current nursing home. However, the report states that this option may not be feasible the "site would prohibit this scale of development."

The second option and the one the report recommends is a new three-story 72-bed addition to the St Joseph's Hospital. 

"This option provides both the lowest operating – lower by nearly $545,000 annually -- This option provides both the lowest operating – lower by nearly $545,000 annually -- and lower construction costs, lower by 25% or $10M to approximately $30M. The new ERNH Long Term Care (LTC) addition to St. Joseph’s Hospital takes advantage of the benefits of the existing infrastructure, while also offering state of the art residential LTC facilities. Additionally, the proposed site offers space for future growth, with adequate space for new staff and visitor parking, as well as space for future LTC additions as required."

Members of the ERNH are planning to meet with the Minister of Health, Mr. Jom Reiter in the coming weeks to present the finds of the report and push for funding to move forward with their plans. 

READ MORE: New Estevan Regional Nursing Home Committee Meets with Minister of Health

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