Mental health, substance-use zone now open at Peace Arch Hospital

A new, dedicated mental-health and substance-use treatment area within the expanded Peace Arch Hospital emergency department is now fully open, supporting people presenting to hospital with a quiet and calming environment to receive care.

“The White Rock and South Surrey community is growing rapidly, bringing an increased demand for health-care services,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “That’s why our government invested in redeveloping a number of areas at Peace Arch Hospital to better support staff and the needs of patients. I want to thank Fraser Health for their tireless recruitment efforts and the Peace Arch Hospital Foundation for their remarkable fundraising efforts.”

Following completion in January 2022, the expanded emergency department supported 58,207 patients between April 1, 2022, and March 31, 2023, up 10.3% from the same period in the previous year. The expanded emergency department features 50 new single-patient treatment spaces, effectively doubling the capacity. The department also includes a pediatric-friendly space.

“People struggling with a mental-health or addiction crisis can be really vulnerable and often need a quiet, safe place for treatment,” said Jennifer Whiteside, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. “Delivering these services in a dedicated, patient-centred space at Peace Arch Hospital will be critical moving forward for people seeking emergency care in White Rock and South Surrey.”

A new surgical suite above the emergency department opened in January 2022. The surgical suite features two more operating rooms, increasing the total from three to five.

In addition, a surgical daycare project opened in April 2023, which included more patient bays, up to 12 from eight, and converted an existing operating room into a cataract surgery procedure room. Between April 1, 2022, and March 31, 2023, Fraser Health was able to complete 33% more surgeries at Peace Arch Hospital than in the same period in the previous year.

Additionally, the Medical Device Reprocessing Department was relocated closer to the surgical suite enhancing access, infection control measures and safety for all hospital staff.

Redeveloping these areas improved overall efficiency by providing direct links between emergency, surgery and the sterilization of surgical tools.

For the Peace Arch Renewal project, the provincial government through Fraser Health, provided $49.3 million and the Peace Arch Hospital Foundation provided $37.3 million, for a total project cost of $86.6 million. For the Peace Arch Surgical Daycare Project, $400,000 was funded by the Peace Arch Hospital Foundation and $9.4 million from the province through Fraser Health, for a total project cost of $9.8 million.

Peace Arch Hospital opened in 1954 and has 201 beds. The hospital offers emergency surgery, critical care, maternity, inpatient mental-health and substance-use services, inpatient rehabilitation services, laboratory services, outpatient services and ambulatory care.

Quotes:

Natalie McCarthy, vice-president, Regional Care Integration, Fraser Health

“This dedicated, specialized area enables our teams to work collaboratively, ensuring people facing mental-health and substance-use concerns receive the care they need in a timely, compassionate way. By integrating these services into our emergency department, we are fostering a supportive environment for people seeking care. I would like to acknowledge the contributions of our dedicated staff, medical staff and partners for their work in opening this new unit that will support people today and for many years to come.”

Stephanie Beck, executive director, Peace Arch Hospital Foundation –

“The redevelopment of Peace Arch Hospital’s emergency and surgical departments is a critical and exhilarating moment for our community, made possible through the incredibly generous $38.5-million contribution of our donors. Many have given repeatedly to turn this dream into a reality. The spirit of philanthropy and care that initially built this hospital in 1954 continues to thrive in our community today.”

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