Hospital opening top floors

On Sunday, patients will move to the new sixth and seventh floors of the Polson tower.

The long-awaited day is almost here at Vernon Jubilee Hospital.

On Sunday, patients will move to the new sixth and seventh floors of the Polson tower.

“The move will begin at 8:30 a.m. and a patient will be moved from existing floors every three minutes,” said Richard Harding, administrator.

“The move will be supported by a large group of volunteers and clinical staff as they transition to their new rooms.”

There are 30 beds on each floor, with 14 of them new and the remainder coming from existing parts of the hospital.

On the sixth floor, there will be 14 telemetry beds providing cardiac monitoring and 16 acute medical beds. The seventh floor will consist of rehabilitation beds for both rehab and stroke patients, while also supporting patients who no longer require acute care and are preparing to go home.

Most of the rooms have single beds and the goal is to reduce incidents of infection among patients.

“I’m optimistic this will help towards resolving several issues,” said Dr. Chris Cunningham, with medical staff.

Physicians rallied residents a number of years ago to lobby government for the two floors to be completed.

“This is the culmination of a lot of work in the region,” said Cunningham.

Construction of the $30 million project began in early 2014 and officially wrapped up in December.

“We’re right on track with the completion of staff hiring and orientation training and are in the final phase of logistic preparations for the floor move,” said Harding.

With beds shifting over to the new floors in the Polson tower, the vacant wards in the Jubilee tower will largely be converted to semi-private rooms.

The total bed count at VJH will now be 182.