Province approves 160 new and upgraded long-term care beds at Westgate Lodge

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

THURSDAY, MARCH 18, 2021

BELLEVILLE– Todd Smith, MPP for Bay of Quinte, announced that Westgate Lodge is being allocated 72 new spaces and 88 upgraded spaces as part of the Ontario government’s historic investment in 80 new long-term care projects today.

“Long-term care beds across our region are in high demand now and the number of people in Bay of Quinte who will need long-term care is expected to rise over the next decade,” said Smith. “Today’s announcement at Westgate Lodge will help ensure we have safe, modern spaces ready for those who need them.”

The redevelopment of Westgate Lodge is part of the government’s delivery of 30,000 much-needed spaces over 10 years. In addition to modernizing the long-term care sector, these projects will help reduce waitlists to end hallway medicine.

“Our loved ones in long-term care deserve a comfortable, modern place to live, near family and friends, with the support they need when they need it,” said Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, Ontario’s Minister of Long-Term Care. “These new and upgraded spaces, built to modern design standards will help prevent and contain the transmission of infectious diseases and ensure residents have access to the care they need in a safe and secure environment.”

Criteria for selecting the projects announced today included:

  • Upgrading older homes in response to lessons learned around improved Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) measures, particularly the elimination of three- and four-bed rooms;
  • Adding spaces to areas where there is high need;
  • Addressing the growing needs of diverse groups including Francophone and Indigenous communities and/or;
  • Promoting campuses of care to better address the specialized care needs of residents.

Greg Freeman, the Vice-President and Chief Executive Officer of the home’s owner/operator, Crown Ridge Health Care Services Inc., said his organization has been planning for the redevelopment of Westgate Lodge since 2015. He indicated they were thrilled to learn about its approval.

“We have completed a substantial amount of development work already and look forward to getting a shovel in the ground as quickly as possible,” Freeman said. “This announcement is exciting for our residents, families and staff as we look forward to the enhanced amenities in accommodations as part of the new long-term care design standards. The new home will provide residents with larger accommodations, more common areas and resident rooms with no more than two residents to a room, enhancing their quality of life and care.”

Freeman indicated a stringent approvals process for the architectural and engineered drawings is still to come, but said Crown Ridge will work with the Ministry of Health and the City of Belleville to be in a position to start construction within 12 months.

QUICK FACTS

  • These projects are part of Ontario’s Long-Term Care Modernization Plan.
  • As of December 2020, more than 40,000 people across Ontario were on the waitlist to access a long-term care bed.
  • Across the province, the Ontario government is moving forward with 80 new long-term care projects, which will lead to an additional 7,510 new and 4,197 upgraded long-term care spaces.
  • Ontario is investing $933 million in these projects province-wide, on top of $1.75 billion already earmarked for the delivery of 30,000 new spaces over 10 years.
  • On July 15, 2020, the government announced a modernized funding modelto help accelerate the construction of urgently needed long-term care beds (ontario.ca/en/release/57690/ Ontario-unveils-new-innovative-approach-to-building-long-term-care-homes-faster).
  • With this new allocation, Ontario now has 20,161 new and 15,918 redevelopment spaces in the development pipeline.
  • Ontario is the first province in Canada to commit to an average of four hours of direct care per day for residents of long-term care homes.
  • In June 2019, the Ontario government also committed to a 160-bed redevelopment of the H.J. McFarland Memorial Home in Picton.