VANCOUVER Coastal Health (VCH) announced on Thursday that the some patients accessing maternity services at Squamish General Hospital (SGH) may be diverted to alternate hospital sites for care in early July 2022.
Patients who are in labour may be diverted to Lions Gate Hospital, Richmond Hospital, St. Paul’s Hospital or B.C. Women’s Hospital, where appropriate obstetrics oversight and care is available.
Due to a temporary gap in coverage, VCH said it is implementing this interim measure to ensure those accessing maternity services continue to receive quality care and treatment, wherever they are on their maternity journey. VCH’s priority continues to be the wellbeing, health and safety of our patients, including babies delivered at its hospital sites.
VCH said it appreciates the importance of patients having a safe and positive birthing experience, and is committed to making this referral process as seamless as possible for any patients who may be impacted.
A regional Emergency Operations Centre will support the diversion of patients to other facilities, as appropriate, to ensure the facility is prepared to provide a high standard of care and their needs are met.
VCH said that it also recognizes this operational adjustment may cause concern for those accessing maternity services and sincerely apologised to its patients and their families for any disruption.
VCH said it is making every effort to address any gaps in coverage, and continues to explore and implement a wide range of measures to help address current staffing challenges and other demands on acute care delivery. This includes targeted recruitment strategies and the redesign of staffing models, where appropriate.
If requiring urgent care, pregnant individuals should proceed to the Emergency Department nearest to them. If the person believes they are having complications, they should call 9-1-1 without delay.