The public was invited to the NIHP Community Information Meeting on Sept. 18 at the Coast Discovery Inn to view preliminary floor plans.

Floor plans for new Campbell River hospital unveiled, project on time and on budget

The North Island Hospitals Project is making headway, and the project team is excited to tell the community all about it

The North Island Hospitals Project (NIHP) is making headway, and the project team is excited to tell the community all about it, get input, and continue to push forward.

That was the reasoning behind the first Campbell River Community Information Meeting since the shovels went in the ground at both project sites in July.

The meeting was held Thursday, Sept. 18 at the Coast Discovery Inn, and despite a huge amount of updated material to be presented, concept images and progress reports to be distributed, and those involved in the design, engineering and construction of the project in the same place at the same time, attendance was dismal.

But the meeting went on.

“We feel that it’s really important to be very open an honest about all of the design, the development, the drawings, the clinical consultation process, and everything else about the project,” said Chief Project Officer Tom Sparrow. “Sometimes we get a ton of people, and sometimes just a few. That’s not the point, though.”

The point of the meetings, he said, is to get the information out there in the public.

“What we’re trying to do is provide a full flavour of representatives on the project that will be able to answer, very specifically, any of the questions that anyone might have about the project,” Sparrow said.

These representatives include people responsible for all aspects of the project, from construction, engineering and design, to clinical, community engagement and governance.

The meeting opened with a slideshow by Sparrow, explaining the history of the project and its progress thus far, the introduction of the companies who won the bid on the project (Tandem Health Partners), the equity providers, and some oversight structure flowcharts outlining the roles and responsibilities of each partner and stakeholder involved in the project. Sparrow also showed a video presentation of different aspects of the facility which included a 360-degree view of the exterior and 3D concept models of various areas of the interior, reception areas, the registration desk, lobbies and waiting rooms as well as individual room layouts.

Sparrow also touched on the workforce being used for the project, saying, “There really is an intent to use as many local organizations and companies as they possibly can. There really isn’t any other way to do this. You just can’t afford to bring in companies from elsewhere,” but added that if there’s a specific expertise required that isn’t available locally, you obviously need to bring those people in.

Sparrow said information on those employed by the project, including all the work orders, contracts, subcontracts, bids and tenders, will be available on their website; they will also be tracking the number of local workers employed by each company for each contract throughout the process and making that information available, as well.


The floor plan

This introduction and background from Sparrow was followed by a floor plan presentation by Norma Jones, Clinical Project Director of the venture, during which she explained, floor by floor, where each department will be located in relation to every other, highlighting the links and relationships between them. The locations of each department are being placed to make not only patients’ experience less confusing and facilitate ease of use, but also make those who work there able to more easily and quickly access the areas of the facility related to their work.

“What we’ve asked for in the design of this building,” Jones said, “is that various departments need to be closely linked with other departments. Tandem has done an excellent job at giving us what we’ve asked for in this regard, these special relationships, for example between emergency and medical imaging (X-Ray, CT Scans, MRI, Ultrasound). That direct connection is very important, and all of the connections we’ve asked for have really been recognized in this design.”

Floor 0 (basement) is where the majority of the support services will be located. These include the pharmacy, food preparation, staff areas (including gym and shower facility), as well as the administrative offices. Floor 1, the main floor of the hospital, will house the Emergency department, Medical Imaging, Ambulatory Care (outpatient services), Chemotherapy and Cancer Treatment department (including a courtyard), and the central registration area.

This central registration area will fundamentally change patient experience at the facility, according to Jones. “As you know if you’ve ever had to come in for a test, you’ve come in and you’ve gone to one area to have your lab work done, and you’ve gone to another area to have your medical imaging done, and so on, and at each place you go, you’ve had to register. What we’ve done is try to be more patient focused,” she said.

Patients will now register for all the tests and procedures they’ll be having done at the hospital at the central registration desk, and won’t have to worry about stopping in at a desk every department thereafter.

The second floor will house the intensive care and telemetry units, for those patients who need more monitoring and/or invasive procedures, as well as the maternity ward.

All patient rooms on this floor are single-occupant, private rooms with their own washrooms. “It’s absolutely a wonderful place to care for patients,” Jones said, “both as a nurse and for patients themselves. There’s additional privacy for patients as well as room for families to come and stay with them.”

Single patient rooms and in-room washrooms also have the additional benefit of reducing infection and bacteria transfer.

The second floor also houses the operating rooms (now four, up from the current three), post-surgery recovery, day-procedure facility, as well as the lab. The increased operating capacity, as well as the increased size and functionality of the outpatient procedure area, will also, according to Jones, reduce operating wait times and relieve the pressure on surgical staff in the new facility. The third (and top) floor are the inpatient units.

The majority of these rooms are individual patient, private rooms with their own bathrooms. A portion of the rooms on the third floor are single-patient to accommodate those who do better in semi-private (two patient) rooms with the added social interaction.


The timeline and other things

The meeting proceeded with more detail about the current state of the project in regards to the timeline that has been set for it, and some new initiatives being integrated, such as the formation of the new Public/Patient Advisory Committee being organized by Jennifer Singer, Senior Project Coordinator of the Comox Valley site. It’s going to be an ongoing intake process, according to Singer, but they have begun the process of taking applications from people in the hopes that they can begin meetings by the end of October.

Expression of Interest forms are available on the NIHP website, as well, for those who would like to be involved.

Those interested can also call 250-331-8625 (ext. 68625) or email for more information.

The current status of the project was then explained by Senior Project Manager for Graham Construction on the Campbell River site, Brian Pitkin.

He  outlined the target dates and milestones to be reached at various stages of the build. For example, concrete pouring has begun, and the first of two tower cranes were to be erected yesterday, at which time walls will begin to be formed.

The construction on the parkade, Pitkin said, won’t begin until next summer, and there are various milestones mapped out all the way through the build.

“We turn the keys (for the new facility) over on April 30, 2017,” he said, at which time there will be a six month transition period, where staff of the hospital will begin commissioning the hospital, transferring and setting up equipment, training in the new facility. The first patients will enter the hospital in the fall of 2017.

Then the old hospital’s deconstruction will begin, taking about  six months. The entire site will be in its final condition, including the deconstruction and removal of the debris, construction of all the new parking areas, final landscaping and full use of the completed facility will be in summer, 2018, according to Pitkin.

The next community information sessions are expected to happen early in December.