Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) began a planning process in early 2015 to develop a long-range clinical vision and plan for redevelopment of its hospitals over the next 20 years.
Like all hospitals in Ontario seeking provincial support for redevelopment, HHS is following a five-step process required by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.
Developing an overall vision for programs and services (formally named the Stage 1A) is the first step in the process. HHS submitted its Stage 1A document to the Hamilton Niagara Haldimand Brant Local Health Integration Network (HNHB LHIN) in June 2016. This is the document that was endorsed by the HNHB LHIN Board on Feb. 28, 2018.
In the spring 2017 provincial budget, Hamilton Health Sciences received a commitment that its proposed redevelopment projects are in the queue for capital funding. This doesn’t mean that all plans are approved, but is considered a vote of confidence in the direction we’re heading.
After submitting the Stage 1A to the LHIN, HHS began work on the next planning stage (Stage 1B), which is a detailed facilities plan. This plan was submitted to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care in January 2018.
Highlights of the Stage 1B plan include the recommendation that the rebuilding of WLMH be an early priority for redevelopment, along with redevelopment of the Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre in Hamilton. If the Ministry agrees with our recommended project sequence, the estimated timeline is approximately five years to begin construction, pending the necessary approvals and funding.
An artist’s rendering, based on input from staff and physicians, of what the future WLMH could look like has been developed. It depicts the building set further back from Hwy. 8 than the current hospital, with a parking lot in front of the new building.
Community Engagement Helped Develop the Vision:
The HHS planning process, known as Our Healthy Future, began with 10 community engagement sessions in spring 2015, including two in West Niagara, in April and May 2015.
The focus of these sessions was to determine what people value most in their healthcare experience.
The main themes arising from community engagement in West Niagara were:
• build a new WLMH
• receiving care closer to home
• maintain a connection to the community
• greater focus on seniors’ care
The data collected formed the vision for the future West Lincoln Memorial Hospital.
Follow up sessions were held in February (a community workshop), March (town hall meeting), and April 2016 (community information session) where a draft vision for the future West Lincoln Memorial Hospital was presented and discussed, prior to its submission to the Hamilton Niagara Haldimand Brant LHIN in June 2016
Other communications/engagement activities:
• Presentations to Town of Lincoln, Town of West Lincoln and Town of Grimsby have taken place at least once annually from 2015 ongoing.
• Household mailers with planning updates are distributed to approximately 30,000 households in West Niagara twice annually from December 2015 onwards (the most recent was Fall 2017 and another is planned for Spring 2018).
• Regular articles and ads in local papers (ongoing).
Spring 2015 – Planning process begins with community engagement sessions.
Winter 2016 – The vision for future WLMH begins to emerge and is shared with West Niagara community.
June 2016 – HHS submits its 20-year vision for programs and services to the HNHB LHIN.
Spring 2017 – HHS receives commitment to future capital funding in provincial budget, although not for any specific project.
Winter 2018 – HHS receives endorsement from the HNHB LHIN on its 20-year vision. HHS submits its facilities plan to the MOHLTC with the recommendation that WLMH be one of the first projects to move forward (with an anticipated construction start of approximately five years).