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October 27, 2017 4:41 pm

Quesnel and P.G. Receiving Williams Lake Patients

Tuesday, July 11, 2017 @ 9:12 AM

Prince George, B.C. – Patients at the Cariboo Memorial Hospital in Williams Lake and residential care  facilities, have been  arriving in  Quesnel and Prince George  over the past  few days.

Although the City of Williams Lake  remains on evacuation alert,  the transfer of patients and  those in residential care, has been done as a precautionary measure.

Northern Health’s Communications Officer Andrea Palmer says  so far,  about 150 patients  needing acute care,  residential  or supported living,   have been transferred from Williams Lake.”Quesnel is already at capacity,  but  Prince George   is still accepting patients.”  There  are no clear numbers on how  many  patients may  be transferred to Prince George.

She  says  a number of sites in Prince George are being utilized, including the residences  at UNBC.

Patients have been  coming to Prince George, by bus,   handi- dart,  the Northern Health Connections bus,  whatever was needed  and appropriate for a patient’s  travel.  “Because there are so many different levels of care involved,   you’re looking at some patients   who can’t sit up for the trip, so they need to be  in a vehicle that can  take  a patient or resident,  who is lying down, so there’s a number of different levels of support required and we  have been able to accommodate all of those different levels of support in transit.”

In addition to  mobilizing patients,  there has been a convoy  of  transports  heading up and down  highway 97 transferring equipment   to  ensure  sites receiving patients have the necessary equipment,  such as  beds, wheel chairs, and  commodes.

Palmer says there is a toll free number for families to call if their loved one has been transferred, ” for families looking  for loved ones who were patients in care and  have been evacuated from Williams  Lake Health care facilities.  That number is the Interior Health call line,  it’s  1-877- 442-2001.  People can call that  number if they have the name of a patient or resident and  the folks at the other end of that line can tell them  where their loved one has gone  in Prince George or Quesnel.  hey can also provide them with contact information at the facility.”

Northern Health  staff have been incredible says Palmer “It’s all hands on deck, absolutely,  we are actually trying to  galvanize as many staff as possible  who may be able to  accept additional shifts.  We are  putting out a  public request for any Northern Health staff member to please respond to their scheduling notification as soon as possible if they can pick up  extra shifts to offer support.”

Palmer says  although evacuees are not  going through the emergency department,   all staff  are working hard to keep up with the  heavier  demand, “We are just hoping the public  can assist  by utilizing health care resources appropriately.   Just be   aware the emergency rooms are for patients who have had a sudden or unusual change in their health,  including  breathing  difficulties,  severe bleeding or pain, broken bones, chest pains,  suspected overdoses and if you’re not sure if your condition warrants an emergency visit,  please call HealthLink BC at 8-1-1  or visit Healthlink.ca for non emergency  health information.”



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