The Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) board has accepted a Ross Memorial Hospital and Peterborough Regional Health Centre decision to not proceed with a proposal to amalgamate the two hospital sites.
“Having examined opportunities for integration over the past six months, the boards of both Ross Memorial Hospital (RMH) and Peterborough Regional Health Centre (PRHC) have mutually agreed that, at this time, they will not proceed with the proposal laid out in their June 2018 Directional Plan to integrate the two hospitals into one organization with two sites, a decision accepted by the Board of the Central East Local Health Integration Network (Central East LHIN) at the LHIN’s October 31st Board meeting.
In a major investigative piece first released by The Lindsay Advocate back in August, the Advocate laid out the case for not pursuing integration. Afterwards, a local group formed — the Kawartha Lakes Health Coalition — under the umbrella of the Ontario Health Coalition — and continued to apply pressure. Many citizens began speaking out against the amalgamation, creating community-level pressure as well.
“Both hospitals approached the proposed integration optimistically and with our minds open to all possibilities and we received valuable feedback from system partners, staff and physicians, volunteers, patients, donors and the general public,” said Val Harris, RMH board chair.
“Based on our comprehensive examination, we believe that now is not the time to integrate our two hospitals into a single organization with two sites. We are grateful for the excellent feedback we have received throughout this process, which has helped to inform the decisions of both boards.”
While the hospitals’ decision means that they will not be pursuing their stated goal of creating a single hospital corporation in the Peterborough and City of Kawartha Lakes communities, the Central East LHIN Board was pleased that the Boards and leadership of Ross Memorial Hospital (RMH) and Peterborough Regional Health Centre (PRHC) have reaffirmed their commitment to continue to work together to explore other collaboration and partnership opportunities that will enhance the quality of patient care provided by RMH and PRHC, and increase access to local services.
“Under current provincial legislation, both the Central East LHIN and the hospitals within it have a legal duty to identify and explore opportunities for integration,” said Adair Ireland-Smith, PRHC Board Chair.
“While we will not proceed at this time with integrating into a single hospital corporation, we remain committed to our shared patient care goals. We’d like to thank everyone who has taken an interest in these discussions and provided feedback over the past several months.”
“On behalf of the Board of the Central East LHIN, I would like to thank the leadership at Ross Memorial Hospital and Peterborough Regional Health Centre for acting on the LHIN’s direction to explore integration opportunities related to the delivery of clinical and front-line services; back-office functions; and leadership and/or governance,” said Louis O’Brien, Chair, Central East LHIN Board of Directors.
“While the hospitals are not pursuing a governance integration at this time, we will continue to support them in their efforts to build on their existing partnerships and collaborations in service delivery areas such as diagnostic imaging, dialysis services, laboratory medicine, mental health and addictions services, obstetrics, pediatrics, ophthalmology and orthopedic surgery in order to improve patient access to high quality services, support health system transformation and to make the best use of the public’s investment.”