Long term care receives funding injection

Justin
Justin Crann
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Five Hills beneficiary of provincial funds

New equipment and Lean methodology are in the works after the Five Hills Health Region (FHHR) received a grant from the province.

Five Hills Health Region

The FHHR was awarded the grant Friday, as part of a province-wide allocation of Urgent Issues Action Fund monies. In total, health regions were awarded $10.04 million in urgent issues funding with a commitment of an additional $3.8 million in ongoing contributions.

Five Hills was awarded $600,000 of the urgent issues funding and $300,000 in ongoing contributions — approximately six per cent of the totals allotted for the province.

"Where we'll start (allocating the money) is trying to be more flexible around bath times and meal times for residents, beginning in one of the larger facilities and trying to spread it to the others," said Bert Linklater, senior executive director of operations for the region. "Concurrently, we're going to try to spread Lean initiatives into long term care, which will take additional resources over and above what we currently have."

Linklater would not identify the specific facilities that would see immediate investment, but did say the region had chosen three and would "proceed with as much as we can this year."

"We'll prioritize (facilities) so that every facility will get something," he said. "It might take up to three years with this level of support to get everything done in every facility … on the equipment side. (But) on the Lean side, we'll be doing that on a broader scope, with more of the facilities at the same time."

The amount of funding the region is receiving, as a proportion of what is being rewarded across the province, is on par with other initiatives, Linklater added.

"Six per cent is sort of our usual proportion of funding, based on population," he said. "The good news is we're getting an additional $300,000 that is going to carry forward into future budgets, because when I first applied for the funning, there was no commitment at the time that there would be any ongoing funding.

"Just to have that commitment, for future years, is very beneficial for us," Linklater added.

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Organizations: Urgent Issues Action Fund

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