NGH asking for patience as we face significant capacity and staffing pressures

(NGH) Thursday, May 5, 2022 – Norfolk General Hospital (NGH) would like to thank every person for the sacrifices they made over the past two years to protect our healthcare system and healthcare workers. We recognize that everyone has been impacted by COVID-19 in some way.

But the pandemic is not over for staff and physicians at hospitals across Ontario, including at NGH, who continue to provide care every day.

Over the past two years, the public’s support has been appreciated and felt by everyone working at the hospital. Now more than ever, we need that support to continue. Every day, NGH and surrounding hospitals are facing rising pressures from COVID-19. We know people are growing tired of the pandemic, and that frustration remains high. However, we need everyone to show a little more kindness and respect to staff, nurses, and physicians who continue to selflessly work around the clock to provide care to those who need it most. We are here to help you and require your cooperation, patience, and support in order to do so.

At this present time, we are experiencing significant capacity and staffing pressures. Several of our staff are currently off work as a result of COVID-19 or exposure along with ongoing vacancies. This has created a further strain on staffing resources which are already stretched beyond their limits. This has resulted in longer than expected wait times at our Emergency Department and disruptions in other service areas as well.

For anything other than emergency medical needs, we urge the public to reserve the Emergency Department for medical emergencies only, and to explore alternative options for non-urgent cases, such as walk-in clinics, using Health Connect Ontario, calling Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000, virtual care, or consulting with a pharmacist.

Currently, we are working with regional partners to balance demands across hospitals and using agency staffing resources to help relieve staffing pressures at NGH. In addition, we have enhanced our recruitment strategies as hospitals across Canada continue to grapple with the ongoing nursing shortage.

You have our commitment that we are doing everything we can to ensure patients get the care they need.

Thank you for your continued support as we work through these challenging times.