Children's Hospital in London. Photo from Google Street View.Children's Hospital in London. Photo from Google Street View.

Children's Hospital to undergo $3M ER expansion

With the need for specialized paediatric care soaring, London's Children's Hospital will be enlarging its emergency department.

The London Health Sciences Centre run hospital has received $3 million from Children’s Health Foundation for the expansion. It will increase the capacity of the emergency department and add additional space for child and youth mental health patients.

“Children’s Hospital continues to see an increasing demand for its specialized health care supports and services as patient needs increase across our region,” said Hospital President Nash Syed. “Our data shows that our Children’s Hospital emergency department needs more space for the region we serve. As one of Canada’s fastest-growing cities, it has become more crucial than ever that we explore ways to expand our services to meet the demand."

Syed went on to state that the financial support from Children’s Health Foundation will help the hospital "provide the best quality care for a growing population.”

Expansion construction will begin in January and is expected to be completed by June. The addition is being constructed in a vacant space next to the emergency department.

Currently, Children's has 24 emergency room beds.

"[The $3 million] will not only help improve timely access to care for our patients and their families but will be a critical first step that begins to allow us to add dedicated space for the growing number of children and youth who present to our emergency department for mental health support,” said Dr. Rod Lim, the emergency department's medical director. “This is a patient population that has seen an unprecedented demand in recent years, which has created incredible challenges, and these funds will enable us to serve them better.”

Last December, Children's saw an unprecedented jump in the number of kids in need of critical medical care. That led the hospital to expanding its paediatric critical care unit by 60 per cent. The patient surge stemmed from a spike in respiratory illnesses including COVID-19, the flu, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). At the time, daily visits to the hospital's emergency department were 80 per cent higher than normal with wait times averaging six to eight hours.

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