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About 1,000 children waiting for surgery at Children’s Hospital in London | CBC News

London’s Children’s Hospital is taking action to clear a backlog of nearly 1,000 surgeries following a viral respiratory surge that swept the province late last year, overwhelming emergency departments and forcing hospitals across the province to cancel many surgeries.

There are currently 994 patients waiting for surgery at the Children’s Hospital in London, with nearly 12,000 children waiting for surgery across Ontario.

“Health care teams have been doing everything they can to reschedule surgeries in a timely manner and to reduce wait times by reviewing and adjusting operations to lessen the impact on pediatric patients and their families,” wrote Nash Syed, president of the Children’s Hospital in an email to CBC News. 

The hospital is taking steps to address the issues: 

  • Expanding pediatric critical care beds by 60 per cent, meaning room for eight more patients 
  • Adding services to Children’s emergency department to create a new clinic for lower-need patients
  • Working with community hospitals to improve timely access across the region 
  • Creating a Minor Procedure Room to fast-track less invasive procedures 
  • Improving educational supports for inpatient care teams 
  • Bringing clinical staff from adult care teams with pediatric expertise back to the Children’s Hospital to help support the surge in need

In November, the Children’s Hospital announced it was cancelling surgeries due to high occupancy — with inpatient beds reaching115 per cent. 

Last week, Children’s hospitals had a meeting with Ontario Health as part of a new “surgical access” table in an effort to figure out how to tackle the surgical backlog, said Syed.

“The good news is that the situation is getting better from the fall and winter surge,” he wrote. 

“We are continuing to advance new and innovative ways to increase access to surgical care by focusing on increasing our capacity within our hospital and building new approaches to meeting the care needs.”


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