Bermuda Hospitals Board Announces Results of Comprehensive Review of Estate and Services

Review Finds Current Facilities Have Short Remaining Lifespan; Generates Preliminary Options to Address Needs

The Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB) today announced results of a comprehensive review of the hospitals’ estate and services, which find that while the infrastructure of King Edward VII Memorial Hospital (KEMH) and Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute (MWI) is meeting the healthcare needs of the community, it has a remaining lifespan of approximately eight years. The review also reinforces the urgent need for more continuing care beds to respond to the needs of Bermuda’s rapidly aging population and to relieve the current pressure for acute care beds. This is the first phase of the hospitals’ estate master plan project, which will ensure that the BHB is equipped to provide quality healthcare services to the Bermuda community well into the future.

“Our community rightfully demands that as Bermuda’s only acute care hospital and mental wellness institute, we maintain a high standard for our estate and service delivery,” said Jonathan Brewin, Chairman of the Bermuda Hospitals Board. “The key findings of this review give us a clear timeline to guide the decisions that need to be made, as well as an outline of the issues we need to consider as we plan for the future of our hospitals. We are now asking for the community’s feedback on the options we have generated, as we all have a vested interest in the future of our hospitals.”

The BHB, in conjunction with design firms Cannon Design and OBM International, has generated preliminary options to begin to address its estate needs. To support a more community-based model of healthcare delivery, the BHB is recommending the development of three campuses of care, a mental health facility and an acute care hospital that meets the community’s current and future healthcare needs.

The BHB is sharing preliminary options with the Bermuda community at three town hall meetings this week . The BHB is now reviewing the various site options and is working with an international accounting and consulting firm to develop a full business case, including financial data, which will be presented to the community by the fall of 2005. As part of this process, the BHB is now requesting community feedback on review findings and preliminary options. The public is strongly encouraged to contribute its input by attending a town hall meeting this week, and by filling out a feedback form available at the town hall meetings, online at www.bermudahospitals.bm or by calling 441.239.2104.

“We will match the significant effort that needs to be made to upgrade our hospitals with a commitment to focus on key issues such as retaining and recruiting staff, providing first-class care and adopting a strong customer service approach in keeping with our patient and client-centred vision,” said Joan Dillas-Wright, Chief Executive Officer of the Bermuda Hospitals Board. “We are eager to move forward into this new era for healthcare in Bermuda successfully.”

The BHB has augmented its current maintenance plan with more proactive, planned preventative measures to ensure that its current facilities remain in safe, reliable and effective working order for the remainder of their lifespan. This proactive maintenance plan will also facilitate the transition to BHB’s long-term estate master plan strategy.

Campuses of Care

Based on community feedback and analysis of demographic statistics, the BHB is recommending the creation of ‘campuses of care’ in the western, central and eastern parishes, which would:

– Bring service delivery closer to home for Bermuda residents and address the need for continuing care beds, group homes and primary care
– Disburse health services so communities are not left without services in the event of a natural disaster
– Take pressure off of the acute care hospital emergency department
– Provide access to primary care outside of physician office hours at multiple locations
– Be accessible for a broader range of less acute mental health services and build on MWI’s evolution as a modern mental wellness facility (MWI site)

Acute Care Hospital

The BHB has generated several preliminary options to respond to the need for a new infrastructure for the acute care hospital.

Based on feedback from the community and various stakeholders, the BHB identified the following criteria for the acute care hospital:

– Central location
– Protected from extreme weather and environmental conditions
– Easily accessible from the western, central and eastern parts of the Island
– Within close proximity of emergency measures partners including police, fire, Bermuda Regiment and Government officials
– Sufficient land area to allow redevelopment of infrastructure over time

Working with Cannon Design and OBM International, the BHB identified six sites for consideration for an acute care hospital: Pembroke Marsh, the Arboretum, Government House, Botanical Gardens, the current KEMH site, and Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute. Each of these sites was analysed according to location, environmental exposure, accessibility and constructability.

There are strengths and weaknesses associated with each site, which will be discussed in greater detail at the town hall meetings.

Highlights from Comprehensive Review

– Construction of additional continuing care beds needs to be a high priority to relieve the current pressure on beds.

– The buildings, for the most part, are reaching the end of their useful life-cycle. While the basic structure of the buildings is largely solid, the configuration of space and services is not in keeping with current hospital design standards.

– A community network of services is needed in Bermuda to relieve the pressure on KEMH, particularly the Emergency Department.

– All services of a critical nature need to be provided in Bermuda. Travel constraints to offshore facilities require that initial stabilization occurs at KEMH.

– There is too much primary care in the Emergency Department. Decentralized primary care at both ends of the Island must be explored.

– There is a need for more quality housing for staff.

– More emphasis needs to be placed on preventative health programmes. These programmes can greatly reduce the need for all services within the hospitals, and can be provided at a substantially reduced cost.

– The review also underscores the need for more parking spaces at KEMH, including handicapped-accessible parking.

Project Background

In November 2003, the Bermuda Hospitals Board undertook an estate planning exercise that would lead to a clearly defined plan to address the current and future healthcare needs of the community.

In August 2004, the BHB announced that it had selected Cannon Design, in association with OBM International, to assist in the development of its estate master plan. Since then, the BHB Estate Master Plan Steering Committee comprised of hospital staff, Board members, physician and Government representatives, continues to meet regularly as it moves forward with this project.

-ends-

Attachment 1: Q&A – Estate Master Plan

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