Four hospice beds will be funded at Comox hospital

Residents of the Comox Valley nearing the end of their lives will soon have better access to a range of end-of-life care services.

  • Nov. 28, 2013 8:00 p.m.

Residents of the Comox Valley who are nearing the end of their lives will soon have better access to a range of end-of-life care services, including new community-based end-of-life beds.

Four end-of-life beds will open in the Comox Valley by the end of 2014, Island Health announced Thursday. Three end-of-life beds will also be located in Campbell River as part of a previous commitment to establish 40 community-based spaces prior to the opening of the new hospitals in 2017.

“How individuals choose their end-of-life care is a deeply personal decision and our government is committed to providing services that meet a variety of health care and emotional needs,” said Comox Valley MLA Don McRae. “This welcome addition of four end-of-life beds in Comox and three end-of-life beds in Campbell River reflects our government’s commitment to expanding hospice care in British Columbia to provide high-level, specialized end-of-life supports to patients and their families during a difficult time in their lives.”

The new beds in Comox and Campbell River are part of a range of end-of-life service improvements taking place across Island Health that will support providing the right care in the right place at the right time. The four new beds in the Comox Valley will be located at The Views, an existing residential care facility operated by St. Joseph’s General Hospital, which provides publicly funded complex care beds under contract with Island Health.

Four existing complex care beds at The Views will be transferred to a still-to-be determined facility in the Comox Valley, so there is no loss of complex care beds in the community.

“Island Health recognizes the importance of delivering high-quality, accessible and appropriate end-of-life services,” said Don Hubbard, Island Health board chair. “We are pleased to be able to expand end-of-life care beds in the Comox Valley and Campbell River as part our commitment to improve access to a range of end-of-life supports for individuals and their families.”

In partnership with Island Health and St. Joseph’s General Hospital, the Comox Valley Hospice Society plays a key role in supporting the needs of dying patients and their families.

Comox Valley Hospice’s team of health-care professionals and trained volunteers deliver no-cost palliative care and support to residents who are facing terminal illness, are dying or are dealing with grief after losing a loved one.

“This will be a welcomed new service for local residents,” said Jane Murphy, CEO of St. Joseph’s. “Accessible, local compassionate care will provide people nearing the end of their life and their families with the supports they need to manage through end-of-life challenges.

“We look forward to working together in partnership with Island Health and the Comox Valley Hospice Society to develop this service for our community.”

“We are pleased to see the establishment of dedicated end-of-life beds in the Comox Valley as part of a range of end-of-life programs and services that are available to residents,” said Terri Odeneal, executive director of Comox Valley Hospice Society.

“We have been working with Island Health to enhance end-of-life services and these new beds will make a difference to residents on central and northern Vancouver Island,” Odeneal added.

— Island Health

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