Queensway Carleton Hospital opening inpatient unit at Ottawa retirement home

The Queensway Carleton Hospital is closing its off-site care unit at a Kanata hospital, and is opening a new inpatient unit at a retirement home in Ottawa’s Central Park neighbourhood.

The west-end hospital took over Fairfield Inn and Suites in April 2020, transforming it into an off-site unit to help alleviate pressure on the hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic. Two floors of the hotel were retrofitted to care for low-acuity, low-risk patients who were able to be safely cared for in an alternate location.

“During a time of great uncertainty, our hospital was able to do something we’ve never done before: transform a hotel into an offsite hospital inpatient unit, thanks to our partnership with Dave and the team at Fairfield Kanata,” QCH President and CEO Dr. Andrew Falconer said.

“We’re thankful for their support over the past two years as our teams successfully worked together to care for people in our community.”

Hospital officials say as of the end of August, there were 29,219 patient days at the Fairfield Inn. 

The Queensway Carleton Hospital moved into the Kanata hotel as it was closed to visitors at the start of the pandemic, and some hotel staff remained employed during the two and a half years. 

The general manager of the Fairfield Inn says 60 rooms were used by the hospital, with a dedicated medical team from QCH staffing the facility.

“Our team members were speaking with their loved ones, their family members, regularly as they called,” GM Dave Fowler said. “They’re guests, right. They’re guests and that’s how we did our best to kind of treat them that way.”

With the hotel-turned-hospital unit closing, the Queensway Carleton Hospital is opening a new off-site inpatient unit at Park Place, an Alavida Lifestyles retirement home.

Queensway Carleton Hospital says Park Place will be equipped with all the care and safety provisions patients receive at the hospital, including beds with rails, enhanced cleaning, access to medications and QCH staff and physicians.

“When we first opened the hotel-turned-hospital, we thought it would be temporary. Over the last two and a half years, it has become a critical part of our operations – enabling us to safely care for more patients than ever before,” Falconer said. “Park Place allows us to continue caring for these patients while we plan for the future.”

The hospital will have 56 beds at the retirement home across two floors.

“These are patients who no longer require an acute medical bed,” QCH Park Place off-site Clinical Manager Jaclyn Drynan said.  “They’re still in hospital because they’re requiring more services to potentially get back home or waiting for a placement in retirement home or long-term care.”

Staff say the new off-site location at Park Place will bridge the transition from hospital care to a retirement home.

Renovations at Fairfield Inn will begin this fall, with the hotel scheduled to reopen next spring.

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