Hospital planned new beds -- in for-profit retirement home

In May, Hotel Dieu Hospital in Windsor was seeking to establish 18 hospital beds in a private nursing home in Amherstburg. 

The beds are so-called "assess and restore" hospital beds, designed to help patients transition from hospital back to home (or, failing that, a nursing home).   Assess and restore hospital beds are supposed to relieve pressure on more expensive to operate acute care beds, while also providing the special services needed to help patients make the return to home. The hospital itself already operates 15 such transitional beds.

In early May, the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care told the Windsor Star, that they were reviewing the proposal, as such a change needs approval under the Public Hospitals Act.  

The private nursing home is operated by Seasons Retirement Communities, headquartered in Oakville. Seasons Retirement Communities is a privately held partnership created in 2009 which owns and operates over 1,000 independent and assisted living units in Ontario.   Fengate Capital Management says it and another private company, TriAmico Development Affiliates, founded and manage Seasons Retirement Communities. (Fengate is a player in the public private partnership market.)

Reportedly, the hospital would rent a wing from the retirement home as a tenant.  The hospital started hiring registered nurses, registered practical nurses and personal support workers to work in the retirement home. The retirement home renovated its facilities for the beds, to some extent.

The plan was to have the beds operating by the end of May.

As it turns out, however, the hospital beds have not been opened in the retirement home.

The government has not explained the situation publicly and it would be wrong to conclude that such plans have been ruled out elsewhere, I reckon. The Hospital's supervisor is a recent assistant deputy minister of health.

Ironically, it was the failure of a nursing home public private partnership (P3) project in Windsor that drove the hospital  bed crisis in Windsor to new levels.  The failure of the P3 home at the old Grace hospital site has forced many hospital patients ready for a nursing home to remain in a hospital bed.

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