No obstetrics service in Shawville for the next 21 days
Article published on 13 December 2019
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A new service interruption in obstetrics will affect the Pontiac hospital, this time over a 21-day period: from 8 am this Friday, December 13 until January 3, 2020, 8am. This is the 12th break in this unit since the beginning of 2019, still caused by a lack of nursing resources.

Marie-Ève Cloutier, Director of Nursing at the Centre intégré de santé et de services sociaux (CISSS) de l’Outaouais, said the facility “had no choice” but to temporarily suspend the service , in order to “allow the teams to catch their breath.”

During the 42 shifts to be covered during the holiday season, only 8 of them could be filled, motivating the decision of the CISSS de l’Outaouais to stop the service temporarily. However, Cloutier assures that measures have been put in place to allow a return in January.

As in the most recent breaks in service, the CISSS de l’Outaouais ensures that all pregnant women concerned have been contacted and that they will be redirected, after being evaluated at the Pontiac Hospital, to the Gatineau Hospital. In the event that a pregnant woman presents for imminent delivery, qualified staff will be in place to provide care.

Le CISSS de l’Outaouais ensures that the Obstetrics Department at the Pontiac Hospital “will not close” permanently, and that the goal is to restore it.

To ensure effective turnover of the obstetrics department at the Shawville Hospital, 12 full-time nurse resources (2 nurses per hour over a 24-hour period) are required. Currently, there are 4 available full-time. It is also noted that 1 shift out of 3 is overtime on the Pontiac side. According to the statistics observed by the institution, a delivery takes place every three days in Shawville.

Actions taken to address the labor shortage in the Pontiac

Completed actions :
• Solicitation of all nurses from the Outaouais to lend a hand to the Pontiac team.
• Solicitation of nursing agencies to fill shifts.
• Meeting of the different educational institutions, notably the Collège Héritage, and reviewing the recruitment process to adapt it to the particularities of the territory.
• Establishment of a care system for nurses.
• Hired three new nurses, two of whom are currently in obstetrics training.
• Use of midwives.
• Appeal to all health facilities in the province: two nurses from the Jewish General Hospital of the Integrated Center for University Health and Social Services (CIUSSS) in West-Central Montreal.
• Intensive and targeted social media and advertising campaign for the Pontiac

Actions in process:
• Open door in the Pontiac to attract labor.
• Work in progress to evaluate the implementation of a model of care by midwives.
• Evaluation of the quality and safety of the obstetric trajectory in the Pontiac.

The CISSS de l’Outaouais wishes to underline the “exceptional” commitment of the Pontiac Hospital staff who, for more than 4 months, have been “at arm’s length” with the service.

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