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New long-term care facility to be built in Prince George

6500 Southridge Avenue will be the home of a new long-term care facility in Prince George.

The facility will start with 200 beds but will be designed for the potential of expansion.

“What you want to do is stage these things,” said Health Minister Adrian Dix.

“We have a base of 411 beds now in the whole region, 411 in total and we’re adding 200 to that. What’s unique about this agreement and the work we’re doing together is the capacity to do that.”

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Northern Health and Providence Health have signed an agreement to build the facility, with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Prince George contributing the land.

“What we’re announcing today is not just a building, it’s also a manner of caring and supporting residents we call social relational,” said Mark Blandford, President and CEO of Providence.

“It’s about creating genuine communities where care doesn’t feel like a service, it’s an extended family.”

The new care home is expected to include:

  • single-bed rooms with private washrooms;
  • units designed in a resident household concept consisting of groupings of 12 rooms with social and recreational spaces found in a typical home;
  • indoor and outdoor spaces for social and leisure activities for residents and family
  • amenities for cooking meals on site;
  • non-denominational space for worship, reflection and spiritual practice, including Indigenous ceremonial practices;
  • a staffing model that supports person-centred care and values seniors in care.

 Dix said while there are challenges in staffing in the north, these new beds are going to be the level of demand in the medium term.

“We have to meet that with recruitment, and it is more challenging in the North, it’s why we have more programs in the North, for more things to support health human resources,” he said.

“We have to continue to expand training, we have to continue to make changes in the health care system to make sure people work to their full scope of practice, we have to recruit internationally and nationally, and finally, we’ve got to make better health care facilities.”

Dix added they’re in the design phase, with construction expected to start next fall.

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