Queen’s Park – February 27, 2018
On Tuesday during question period, NDP MPP from London West, Peggy Sattler, asked about overcrowding in the mental health unit at the London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC). Four months after the province announced 24 additional mental health beds at LHSC, 10 beds were reported to be opening – but without any additional staffing.
“The mental health unit at London Health Sciences Centre has been overcrowded for years, and it’s getting worse, not better,” said Sattler. “Psychiatric beds have been forced to operate at 140%, 150%, even 165% occupancy, day after day, which is far above the safe occupancy rate of 85%.
“There are mental health patients lining the emergency room hallway on a daily basis, waiting for a bed," said Sattler. “It's gotten so bad that people in mental health crisis, who should be in hospital, won't go to the ER for the help they need. Why is this Liberal government refusing to fix the hospital overcrowding crisis that Liberal cuts have created in London?”
The Minister of Health made a surprise announcement about planned new hires, but provided no detail about when the new staff will start or where they will be assigned.