Press Release: Collaborative approach to operational review supported by GBGH board, NSM LHIN and Ministry of Health and Long Term Care
April 28, 2016 – The Board of Directors of Georgian Bay General Hospital has moved to work in step with the NSM LHIN and Ministry of Health and Long Term Care as the hospital continues its review of 14 clinical recommendations contained in a third-party operational review conducted by Geyer and Associates released in December 2015.
“In January, following the first two of our seven community meetings, our board moved to take the 14 recommendations that deal with clinical services cuts and changes off the main discussion table,” said Board Chair Ralph Befort.
“The three clinical committees that are looking into those 14 recommendations are co-chaired by physicians and senior leaders and include front line staff, managers and community members. We have also asked the CEO to prepare work plans for the other 94 recommendations that are more tactical and day-to-day in nature.”
“Now, following discussions with the LHIN and the Ministry we are going to take another step to help those committees looking at the clinical services by bringing in a retired physician leader who can bring a different perspective to the discussions. The Ministry suggested Dr. Keith Rose, who happens to have started his medical career in Midland back in the 1970s and who now resides in the area. Dr. Rose has extended an offer of support and the Board has accepted his offer,” said Mr. Befort.
Dr. Rose is a recently retired physician who started his career in the mid-70s as a family doctor in Midland before returning to Toronto in 1976 to pursue specialty training. He has worked as an anesthesiologist at both St. Michael’s Hospital and North York General Hospital and over time, took on increasingly senior administrative roles including Department Chief, Program Chief and Chair of the Medical Advisory Committee (MAC) at St. Michael’s Hospital (1992-2000), Vice President of Medical Affairs at North York General Hospital (2000-2008) and Executive Vice President of Operations and Chief Medical Executive at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre (2008-2013).
The three clinical committees – ICU, surgery and OB – have been tasked with reviewing the recommendations and coming up with solutions that address quality and safety in the delivery of the programs and stay within the current funding framework as the hospital has no new money. Each group was given three months and will report to the board at the end of May. The recommendations that deal with clinical service changes such as OB, surgery and the ICU are numbers 70, 76, 82, 83, 84, 100, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 108 contained in the report.
The 94 tactical recommendations deal with things such as appropriate behaviour and the Code of Conduct to education opportunities for frontline and management staff as well as management models. The work plan will be presented to the Board in May and will be made available to the public through the hospital’s website.
“Any proposed clinical service changes will also be reviewed and scrutinized by the NSM LHIN in consultation with the Ministry before any final decisions are made – that is the protocol in Ontario – and we want to make sure that whatever GBGH presents to balance our budget has been given all the due diligence our hospital and community deserve,” added Mr. Befort. “We are community members as well and we have been respectful of the community needs while we try to operate the hospital within our fiscal reality.”
The GBGH Board passed its 2016-2017 budget with a projected deficit of $2.3-million in March.
While the operational review was tabled in December, none of the clinical service changes or cuts recommended has been acted upon.
The board made the report public immediately and held seven community town hall meetings throughout January and February where they heard from more than 1,000 community members.
The review, in collaboration with the NSM LHIN, focused on key areas such as governance, medical staff, clinical services and the role of the hospital within the LHIN. The third-party review was conducted by Geyer and Associates and included interviews and focus group sessions with close to 200 stakeholders both internally and externally and resulted in 108 recommendations. It is available on the hospital’s website.