FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FRIDAY, JUNE 28, 2019
Picton – A Government of Ontario investment announced today will transform Prince Edward County’s H.J. McFarland Memorial Home into a modern 160-bed long-term care facility.
This afternoon, Todd Smith, MPP for Bay of Quinte and Minister of Children, Community and Social Services welcomed Minister of Long-Term Care Dr. Merrilee Fullerton to share this much-anticipated development about the 44-year-old municipally operated home.
Fullerton announced that the government is adding 76 new long-term care beds and upgrading 84 existing beds to modern design standards. When complete, the home will include specialized services for behavioral, dialysis, dementia and patients recovering from an illness or injury.
Smith welcomed the announcement.
“This investment will allow Prince Edward County to offer the care residents and families deserve in a state-of-the-art facility for years to come,” said Smith. “With an aging population with a median age seven years older than the provincial average, the need here is real. The County has been hoping for these beds since the Picton Manor closed in 2012 and, today, we have delivered.”
Prince Edward County Mayor Steve Ferguson was grateful to receive the news.
“The municipality welcomes the provincial government’s commitment to long-term care in our community,” said Ferguson. “As a popular retirement destination, the demand for long-term care will continue to grow in the coming years. With the support announced today, we will redevelop H.J. McFarland Memorial Home in order to expand access and enhance the care we offer in a warm, welcoming and modern environment.”
A medical doctor with years of family practice in the Ottawa area, Fullerton said the new beds will help take pressure off hospitals, allow doctors and nurses to work more efficiently and provide better, faster health care for Ontario families and patients.
Smith was excited about how that commitment might ease pressure and improve patient experiences and wait times at Quinte Healthcare Corporation (QHC) hospitals.
“In the Quinte region and across Ontario, we have people in hospital beds that would be more appropriately housed in long-term care facilities, like McFarland Home, but there haven’t been open beds available to them,” said Smith. “By addressing this long neglected issue, we can free up hospital beds for more acute services and work to eliminate hallway health care.”
Today’s announcement was also greeted with enthusiasm by QHC’s vice-president and chief nursing officer Carol Smith Romeril.
“Added long-term care beds is wonderful news for those in the community who require this type of care. From a hospital perspective, more long-term care beds means that patients no longer requiring hospital-level care have an appropriate place to go. This frees up beds in our hospitals for patients truly in need of the acute care that our hospitals provide,” said Smith Romeril.
Fullerton indicated the increased bed allocation at H.J. McFarland Memorial Home is part of the government’s commitment to add 15,000 long-term care beds over the next five years.
Announcement video: Government of Ontario announcements YouTube channel
Ministry of Long-Term Care website: www.ontario.ca/page/ministry-long-term-care