February 29, 2024

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Waterloo Region considers diverting mental health and fitness, addiction phone calls to alternative clinic

WATERLOO Location — The Region of Waterloo is looking at diverting some psychological health and habit disaster phone calls to an different web-site, fairly than have paramedics just take persons to the hospital crisis division.

The evaluate would permit people today in crisis to get health care attention additional rapidly and ease wait instances at medical center emergency departments, when minimizing delays in off-loading ambulances.

The go is feasible mainly because provincial laws introduced in 2019 lets sure sufferers to be diverted to “appropriate local community-primarily based treatment,” a regional staff report states. It will be presented to regional councillors at a conference on Tuesday.

About 10 for each cent of calls to paramedics are mental health and fitness calls. Paramedics’ only option now is to acquire people to the crisis department.

Waterloo Area paramedics have been coping with mounting call volumes and escalating figures of “Code Reds,” when no ambulances are available to reply to emergency calls.

From January to November, Code Red incidents transpired 4 situations as frequently as throughout the identical interval in 2021. In the to start with 11 months of 2022, paramedics had 87 Code Reds totalling 23.5 hours.

A similar pilot venture of diverting phone calls from unexpected emergency departments was executed by Middlesex-London Paramedic Solutions. Paramedics were capable to transfer patients to a 24/7 stroll-in crisis clinic rather than convey them to the crisis department.

Paramedics worked with the hospital as effectively as at the Canadian Psychological Wellness Association. The pilot acquired funding from the regional well being integration network.

Client pleasure was higher and ambulance off-load time was slice by about 50 per cent, claims the report to regional councillors. Ambulance off-load times went from an regular of 28 minutes down to 11 minutes.

Domestically, Grand River Hospital and Cambridge Memorial Clinic, together with Waterloo Regional Police, Lutherwood and the Canadian Mental Wellness Affiliation Waterloo Wellington, have occur collectively with a comparable strategy funded by the province. It is envisioned to be introduced to regional council later this spring.

A session process will include things like input from individuals with lived knowledge.

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