New children’s complex care transition centre coming to Vancouver

BETTER care is on the way for children across the province with extraordinary health needs, requiring complex care, as government moves forward with a first-of-its-kind children’s complex care transition facility in B.C. – a leading edge in Canada – with the approval of a concept plan.

“The children’s complex care transition centre, operated by the BC Children’s Hospital, is an opportunity to show innovation by filling gaps in much-needed services and supports for children and young people with complex care needs and will be complementary to what is currently provided in acute care and community settings,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, on Monday. “While other jurisdictions in Canada offer similar services through separate programs, this will be the first centre in the country to provide such a comprehensive range of supports for children with medical complexity at a single site.”

Children with complex care needs often require many different supports that are often challenging for families and caregivers to provide from home. The complex care transition centre will serve as a stepping-stone between acute hospital care, community care and home, providing services under a new, unique model of care designed to support patients and families with the transition.

This “campus” of care will be fully integrated, patient and family-centred, and provide trauma-informed care in a culturally safe environment. The centre will support children in improving the quality of their lives, and those of their family, through education and building local care capacity for those moving back home from an acute care setting, but may not be ready for a full return, as well as helping to avoid crisis situations requiring admission to an acute care facility.

Patients up to 19 years of age and their families will be able to access health-care services ranging from assessment, examination and treatment to education, training and research. Care will be provided by an interdisciplinary team of doctors, nurse practitioners, nurses and allied health professionals. The centre will also provide training for parents and caregivers to help with care delivery at home, as well as supports for siblings. In addition, the virtual campus and provincewide community-based care network will extend the reach of the centre to every area of B.C. and will also include training and support for caregivers and clinicians.

“Nearly 8,000 children with complex medical and physical needs have accessed BC Children’s Hospital services in the past two years, and that population is only expected to grow,” said Benoit Morin, President and CEO, Provincial Health Services Authority. “We are dedicated to helping children and families across the province lead the fullest and healthiest possible lives and we would like to thank Minister Dix and the Government of B.C. for supporting us as we look forward to building stronger families and more inclusive communities through a new children’s complex care transition centre.”

Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart said: “East Vancouver has a long legacy of providing children’s health-care services and this site has always been a point of pride for the community. I am pleased to see this legacy carried forward with a new children’s complex care transition centre. The city looks forward to working closely with PHSA and the Ministry of Health to help keep children’s health care services in East Vancouver.”

The new facility will be located at the current site of the Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children, which is on schedule to relocate to the main campus of the BC Children’s and Women’s Hospitals at the end of August 2020. Sunny Hill’s relocation is part of the third and final phase of the BC Children’s and BC Women’s Redevelopment Project, which also included construction of a new clinical support building and the Teck Acute Care Centre.

There will be close links between the services provided on the site and those provided on the main BC Children’s Hospital campus on Oak Street. The new services will not replicate the acute services provided at BC Children’s Hospital.

* Concept planning is an important part of the process, as it is an opportunity to make sure the new facility meets community needs and future demands. The plan provides a framework for projected health services and infrastructure.

* The business plan phase will now get underway. In this phase, details, such as the project scope and budget, will be finalized.

* Business planning normally takes 12 to 18 months. Upon approval of the business plan, the project will proceed to procurement and then construction.

* A data sample of children with complex medical and physical needs over 2017 and 2018 shows 7,779 children and youth who accessed BC Children’s Hospital services during this time. This population is estimated to grow by 17% to 9,082 by 2035.

* Child and youth with medical complexity has been defined by the Children’s Healthcare Canada Network as sharing four defining characteristics:
– the presence of one of more complex chronic conditions;

– significant functional limitation;

– very high health-care utilization; and

– caregiver-identified significant social and financial impacts.