Hospital can't turn beds over to retirement home

A Windsor hospital has been officially blocked from setting up hospital beds in a for-profit retirement home. 

As noted in June, the Hotel Dieu Hospital was trying to create 18 "assess and restore" hospital beds in a for-profit retirement home in Amhertsburg.  

The hitch for the Ministry of Health and LTC wasn't the for-profit nature of the home, it was that the home  didn't meet the building and fire code for hospital services.  This despite $300,000 in renovations by the retirement home and nine months of planning.   For the hospital project, the retirement home installed wheelchair-accessible bathrooms, the flooring was changed from carpet to vinyl, and a nursing station, common room and dining room were built.

Apparently, the relatively new retirement home was built to a different building code than that required for hospitals and so cannot house hospital patients.

The Ontario government has practically made moving work out of hospitals a new religion -- but this problem may slow them down a little bit.  

While most retirement homes are for-profit, the Ministry says retirement homes are encouraged to find “alternative ways” to provide services in the community. A Ministry spokesperson told the Windsor Star that transitional care beds are much more specialized than those traditionally found in a retirement home setting, so extensive planning might be required to meet building and fire code requirements. 

So it seems!

The Hotel Dieu is now going to open the 18 beds in the hospital itself.  The 18 beds were part of 33 beds designed to help Windsor deal with its longstanding bed crisis  (which in itself was made worse by the earlier failure of a for-profit nursing home project).   The other 15 beds had already been established in the Dieu.   (It is not clear why the hospital did not simply put all 33 beds in the Dieu in the first place.)

The hospital is working on a settlement with the retirement home for the costs incurred.  

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