Exceptional measures underway to restore normal operations at Campbellton Regional Hospital

Campbellton, Thursday, November 21, 2019 – Due to unprecedented patient overload conditions at the Campbellton Regional Hospital and to a shortage of staff, Vitalité Health Network is required to take exceptional measures to restore normal operations at the facility.

For a number of weeks, this facility, which has 145 acute care beds, has been experiencing extreme overload conditions and has at times been exceeding its capacity by over 40 patients. Approximately 70 beds are being occupied by alternate level of care (ALC) patients, i.e. patients who no longer need to be hospitalized but who have no choice but to remain in the hospital while awaiting the care they need, usually a place in a nursing home.

“There is no more room in the hospital and our ability to provide safe and high-quality care is being compromised,” stated Gilles Lanteigne, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Network. “Our staff and physicians are working very hard but we have exhausted all other options to resolve the situation. We thus have no choice but to take a series of exceptional measures,” he explained. “This is an extremely urgent situation and we need everyone’s collaboration and understanding during this difficult period.”

The Network is announcing the temporary closure of the following departments until November 29, 2019:

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology (deliveries);
  • Surgical Suite;
  • Ambulatory Care (outpatient clinics), starting November 22, 2019.

The Network will contact everyone who had appointments with these departments during the closure to inform them of the next steps.

Other measures are also in place:

  • Ambulances could be diverted to other hospital facilities;
  • No new admissions will be accepted until further notice;
  • Physicians in the community will not be allowed to do any direct admissions.

The situation will be re-evaluated on a daily basis. The Network is working with the facility’s medical staff to maximize patient discharges where this can be done safely. Steps are also underway with our partners at the Department of Social Development, which manages nursing homes, and Ambulance New Brunswick.

The Network is aware of the inconvenience and concerns that may result from this series of measures. “This is an extremely urgent situation and drastic measures must be taken to bring the number of patients at the Campbellton Regional Hospital to a more acceptable level,” stated Dr. France Desrosiers, Vice-President of Medical Services, Training and Research.

“Everyone working together – including nursing staff, health professionals, physicians, health system managers and the people of the community – will allow us to navigate this emergency situation,” she concluded.

For non-urgent cases, the Network asks the public to see a physician at a walk-in clinic or to make an appointment with their family physician or nurse practitioner rather than visit the Emergency Department of the Campbellton Regional Hospital.