The Scarborough Hospital and The Rouge Valley Centenary jointly held a stakeholder meeting on July 29th at the Scarborough Hospital with representatives from Scarborough and West Durham community groups to discuss how to structure their stakeholder engagement process. Key questions to be addressed included (1)how to ensure that members of the community are properly engaged and able to provide meaningful input, (2) the best way to keep members of the community informed, (3) what other groups to include in the communication process, (4) the most important issues to be discussed during the engagement process.
Present at the meeting were several community groups including your Scarborough CARP Chapter, Friends of TSH, Friends of Ajax and Pickering Hospital, and members of the hospitals’ community advisory panel. Both the President/CEO of The Scarborough Hospital (Robert Biron) and President/ CEO of Rouge Valley Health System (Rik Ganderton) were in attendance, and the session was facilitated by Dan Mader and Bryn Turnbull from StrategyCorp. The two major goals were to determine (1) how the community is providing input, and (2) how the community is kept informed.
Several issues were brought up for discussion:
1) We need better information. There is too much misinformation floating around raising the fear level among the public.
2) The type of services has to be better explained. Questions need to be more specific. Smaller group consultations would be beneficial.
3) More input from ethnic communities is needed. A better way to reach ethnic communities has to be found.
4) There is a general lack of trust as to the true intent of all the contemplated changes. Many think it is just a cost cutting measure.
5) Transportation is an important issue for some people. People need to have easy access to health care facilities. Not all people drive. Scarborough covers a large area.
6) An integration between the two hospitals (TSH and RHVS) could mean that working hours for some staff may be reduced if they currently work for both hospitals.
7) The patient care services currently delivered in the Durham cluster at the Rouge Valley Ajax/ Pickering site are not included in the integration planning.
8) Scarborough is way behind in the integration process. Other regions are way ahead of Scarborough and much better integrated. The health care system is fragmented. Hospitals are only one pillar among the various health institutions.
9) The important question is: What are the benefits of integration? Will the hospitals be more resilient to the inevitable coming changes when they are joined together? According to RickGanderton the anticipated benefit of hospital integration is a hypothesis right now, the evidence for it is not yet there and that is why the due diligence and stakeholder engagement processes are important to conduct.
The take-away question is: how do we create a new health care vision in Scarborough, and what is your suggestion?
Updates on the facilitated integration planning process are available on the hospitals’ websites at www.tsh.to and www.rougevalley.ca.