PEOPLE living in northeast Vancouver will soon have better access to team-based everyday health care with the opening of a new urgent and primary care centre (UPCC) on February 16 located at 102-2788 East Hastings Street.
“The northeast Vancouver UPCC will help connect more people in Hastings Sunrise, Renfrew Collingwood and Cedar Cottage with the health care they need, when they need it,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “This means tens of thousands of area residents, including those living in poverty, families and seniors with complex care needs, who currently lack a primary care provider, will benefit from increased access to same day and ongoing primary care closer to home.”
The new UPCC will be operated by Vancouver Coastal Health. It was developed in collaboration with the Vancouver Division of Family Practice, regional program leads and Aboriginal program leads at Vancouver Coastal Health and Providence Health Care.
The centre will incorporate a team-based care approach through a health-care team that includes family physicians, nurse practitioners, registered nurses and allied health professionals, such as dietitians, social workers and counsellors, and support staff.
“This urgent and primary care centre shows our government’s continued dedication to improve the way people access the care they need when they need it most,” said Niki Sharma, MLA for Vancouver-Hastings. “It will bring meaningful change to the thousands of residents who do not have timely access to a family doctor or who need urgent care.”
A team of 16.5 full-time equivalent (FTE) health-care workers, including 3.23 FTE family physicians, 3.07 FTE nurse practitioners, 7.55 FTE registered nurses, 1.65 FTE social workers and one FTE clinical co-ordinator will provide urgent care services in the UPCC’s first year of operation. The team is also expected to have more than 27,000 patient visits.
Urgent care services will be for people who need health care within 12 to 24 hours, but do not require an emergency department, such as patients with sprains, cuts, high fevers and minor infections.
By January 2022, as the team expands and becomes fully operational, a full-service primary care services and patient attachment will be provided. At this time, the health-care team will work to reach an annual target of more than 47,000 patient visits in future years.
Over the next three years, the centre will work with the Vancouver Division of Family Practice to attach patients who do not have a family doctor to a regular primary care provider in the community. This includes attaching more than 3,500 patients to general practitioners or nurse practitioners at the UPCC. The centre will also provide care for unattached patients while working on connecting patients to other local practices for their ongoing primary care.
The centre will offer extended service hours and will be open Monday to Saturday from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. and on Sunday and statutory holidays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
This is the 22nd UPCC to be announced under the government’s primary care strategy. It is also the fourth to be announced in the Vancouver Coastal Health region. The UPCC in downtown Vancouver has had more than 59,705 patient visits since it opened in November 2018. Since opening in November 2019, the UPCCs in East Vancouver and North Vancouver have served more than 18,279 and 35,741 patient visits, respectively. The northeast Vancouver UPCC will also be part of the Vancouver northeast primary care network.
* The Vancouver Northeast Urgent and Primary Care Centre (UPCC) will feature improved access to care through extended weekend and evening hours.
* It will offer same-day care for people who need health care within 12 to 24 hours, but do not require an emergency department, such as people with sprains, cuts, high fevers and minor infections.
* A team of 16.5 full-time equivalent (FTE) health-care workers will be working at the centre:
* 3.23 FTE family physicians;
* 3.07 FTE nurse practitioners;
* 7.55 FTE registered nurses
* 1.65 FTE social workers; and
* a UPCC clinical co-ordinator.
* The centre will be open seven days a week, 365 days per year, regardless of holidays.
* People will be able to self-refer for their urgent and primary care needs. Patients will also be able to be referred by community service providers, other health-care professionals and agencies.
* Once fully operational, people will be able to schedule appointments. During busy periods, appointments will be prioritized based on urgency.
* Patients requiring laboratory testing beyond simple specimen collection will be provided with requisitions for lab tests to be completed at nearby laboratories.
* Of the 113,000 people in the region, approximately 14,400 patients, or roughly 12.7%, are considered unattached.
* The five top identified conditions in the Vancouver northeast region are diabetes, episodic mood and anxiety disorders, hypertension, osteoporosis and asthma.
* Approximately 41.6% of visits to the Mount Saint Joseph Hospital’s emergency department and 27.5% of visits to the Vancouver General Hospital’s emergency department in 2019-20 were low acuity visits. Many of these could be dealt with in alternative settings, such as a UPCC.
* The UPCC will be 491 square metres (5,291 square feet) and will include clinical and administrative spaces.
* UPCCs are part of a comprehensive provincial strategy to transform B.C.’s health system by bringing together and co-ordinating with health-care providers, services and programs to make it easier for people to access care, receive followup care and connect to other services they may need.
* The Vancouver northeast primary care network was announced in September 2020 and will include a team of six FTE general practitioners, four FTE nurse practitioners, four FTE registered nurses, 7.5 FTE allied health providers and one FTE pharmacist. As of Dec. 15, 2020, one FTE general practitioner, six FTE nurse practitioners, one FTE registered nurses and two FTE allied health professionals have been recruited.