Northern Health Examining Ways to Improve Delivery of Health Services in the Downtown
Prince George, B.C.- Northern Health has started a review of the myriad of health services offered in downtown Prince George.
Working with a variety of stakeholders, including service providers, Downtown Prince George, the RCMP and the City of Prince George, the review will focus on mental health and substance use programs as well as the needle exchange.
Northern Health Chief Operating Officer for the Northern Interior, Penny Anguish says the review will look at a number of areas, “It’s not an unusual thing for us to do” as Northern Health routinely takes time to examine programs to see if they are achieving the desired outcomes and if there are efficiencies that can be achieved “We will be looking at whether or not there is duplication, what are the gaps in the current service model”
What is different about this review, is that it will also examine the possibility of co-locating some of the services “That’s one possibility and that’s something that I know there has been some consideration in Prince George in the past” says Anguish “Absolutely, that could be one of the recommendations that comes out of the review. What we’ve asked for is a report on a service model that would best serve the complex population that the programs are designed for.”
She says there are co-location service models in other communities where it’s easier to collaborate on care planning. She says while there are relationships between some service providers right now, “It might make a lot more sense if the services were co-located.” But she’s leaving that idea up to those conducting the review, as she doesn’t want to pre-determine what recommendations may be made “We really want to hear what people have to say.”
The health services review is expected to be complete by June of this year. If there are immediate opportunities identified during the course of the review, changes could be made before the final report is released.