This evening, at a special open meeting, The Scarborough Hospital (TSH) Board of Directors received the report from the Expert Review Panel regarding TSH’s maternal newborn and women’s health and surgical models.
The Expert Review Panel was established following a series of motions from the Central East Local Health Integration Network (Central East LHIN) Board of Directors to address the concerns and risks that had been identified by stakeholders regarding TSH’s proposed consolidation of the Maternal Newborn and Women’s Health services at the Birchmount campus, as well as the consolidation of same day/short stay surgery at the Birchmount campus, with more complex surgeries with overnight stays occurring at the General campus.
Guided by Ontario’s Action Plan for Health Care, in June 2012, TSH embarked on a Strategic Plan Refresh (SPR) to create a roadmap that would redefine the scope of hospital services based on its fiscal challenges. As part of the SPR, the consolidation proposals were presented to the Board of Directors on March 5, 2013.
At its March 27, 2013 meeting, the Board of Directors of the Central East LHIN did not approve the proposed service consolidations and requested that TSH convene the Expert Review Panel. On May 31, 2013, the Expert Review Panel held a full‐day of sessions, whereby stakeholders were invited to present their viewpoints.
In its Report, the Expert Review Panel states that it does not support the program consolidations contemplated in the SPR because “…TSH organization has not completed a full corporate cultural integration since its amalgamation in 1999. This major weakness diminishes support for any major geographic integration of clinical services. The challenges with the TSH Board of Directors’ decision became self‐evident during the Expert Panel’s review. There were many delegations representing hospital staff and medical staff who describe a picture consistent with two independent hospitals rather than a single corporation providing programs and services in a coordinated and planned way across two geographic sites.”
The TSH Board does not intend to further pursue the proposed service consolidations as designed and contemplated in the SPR. Instead, the organization will reflect on its content and incorporate the lessons learned in its work moving forward, including the current facilitated integration planning discussions with Rouge Valley Health System.
“The TSH Board extends our appreciation to the members of the Panel for their work,” said Stephen Smith, TSH’s Board Chair. “Their perspectives and insight will inform TSH with our current integration planning work with Rouge Valley Health System. As well, we thank all those who took the time to present their views at the May 31st session.”
“First and foremost, it is our responsibility to ensure that local residents have access to high‐quality and safe hospital care and this will continue at TSH,” said Robert Biron, TSH President and CEO. “The advice and insight of the Expert Review Panel further highlights the complexity of the decisions before us as a hospital and community. There are no easy solutions. However, as pointed out by the Panel, TSH will only be successful in addressing these issues if all parties become involved and maintain a flexible and cooperative attitude. The community of Scarborough deserves nothing less from their health care professionals.”