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October 27, 2017 6:47 pm

Northern Health Examining Ways to Improve Delivery of Health Services in the Downtown

Wednesday, February 22, 2017 @ 5:58 AM

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.


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