Failing grade prompts improvements at Creighton Health Centre: CEO

The Mamawetan Churchill River Health Region says it has dealt with shortcomings that once left the Creighton Health Centre with a failing grade from officials.

A 2010 Mamawetan facility report identified over a dozen problems at the centre, including overcrowding and the lack of a back-up generator to ensure stored vaccines are preserved in the event of a power outage.

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Andrew McLetchie, chief executive officer of Mamawetan, says additional space being leased for the home care program and equipment storage has “largely addressed” space-related challenges.

The space was leased at Creighton’s provincial building, where the centre is based.

While the centre does not have a back-up generator, McLetchie said the refrigerator where vaccines are stored is connected to a battery back-up pack to preserve vaccines if the electricity goes out.

Attaching the building to a generator would be cost-prohibitive, he said.

Prior to the addition of the new refrigerator, McLetchie said, there was one incident in 2012 in which vaccine loss occurred.

“Fortunately this did not result in a large loss because of action by [Mamawetan] public health staff, and no shortages of vaccine resulted,” he said. “There was no delay in immunization clinics.”

Back-up power has also been installed for all IT equipment, McLetchie said.

Moreover, he said the owners of the provincial building have followed up on heating and cooling issues previously noted in the building.

While the building still lacks a fire alarm system – another issue identified in the 2010 report – McLetchie said smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are in place to alert staff to any potential risks.

Mamawetan staff also participate in drills on how to exit the building in a timely manner if needed, he said.

Mamawetan’s 2010 facility report gave the centre a minus rating on a scale of 1 to 15, sparking concerns among residents and elected officials.

McLetchie described the report as “a point-in-time review” of the space needs of the programs offered by Mamawetan.

“With the crowding that was occurring when space needs were reviewed in Creighton, the minus ratings reflect the inadequacy of this space at this time,” he said.

“Although we have not formally had the space reviewed in a similar manner to the 2010 report, staff report satisfaction with the current space arrangements.”

Staff were recently involved in projects to ensure their space was free of clutter and unnecessary equipment, and set up to provide the best services to clients, McLetchie said.

He said a number of programs operate out of the centre, though many do not see clients directly in the office space but rather during visits to homes or other locations in the community.

The primary population accessing the centre for vaccinations are children who require childhood immunizations, McLetchie said.

“We typically have seen around 20 to 25 births per year for Creighton and area, and this number would largely determine the flow of people coming to the public health clinic in this space,” he said.

McLetchie added that the centre is seeing more patients looking to book Saskatchewan Cancer Agency follow-up appointments via videoconferencing.

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