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Urgent and Primary Care Centre opens in North Vancouver

03/11/2019

Vancouver, BC – People on the North Shore will be able to access team-based everyday health care with the opening of the new North Vancouver Urgent and Primary Care Centre (UPCC).

"This is a great day for public health-care services for people on the North Shore," said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. "Our government is strengthening the health-care system so people can get better care, and urgent and primary care centres are just one of the ways we are making life better for people around BC"

The North Vancouver UPCC is the third urgent and primary care centre for Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) and 12 have been announced throughout BC under the government's primary care strategy. The new UPCC is operated by Vancouver Coastal Health in partnership with the Ministry of Health and the North Shore Division of Family Practice. VCH also worked with Seymour Health Group. The new centre is supported by the Squamish Nation and the Tsleil-Waututh Nation.

The North Vancouver Urgent and Primary Care Centre serves two purposes:

  • To provide care for people with non-life-threatening conditions who need to see a health-care provider within 12 to 24 hours but don't require an emergency department;

  • To help connect patients to a regular primary care provider. The North Vancouver Urgent and Primary Care Centre is working with the North Shore Division of Family Practice to connect patients to physicians and nurse practitioners in their community.

“I’m really excited that a new urgent and primary care centre has opened on the North Shore. Residents will be able to get better access to non-emergency care at this facility while simultaneously relieving pressure on the overburdened emergency room at Lions Gate Hospital,” said Bowinn Ma, North Vancouver-Lonsdale MLA.

Staff include 14 full-time equivalent practitioners, including general practitioners, nurse practitioners, registered nurses and social workers.

The North Vancouver Urgent and Primary Care Centre is located on the second floor of 221 Esplanade West, North Vancouver, near transit and the Seabus, and one block away from the Squamish Nation community. It is centrally located near other VCH services, including home and community care, public health and ambulatory care.

The UPCC serves all North Shore residents and visitors, including North Vancouver, West Vancouver and Bowen Island/Lions Bay.

Quotes:

Yasmin Jetha, vice-president, Community Services, Vancouver Coastal Health 

“We’re building a more convenient health-care system that responds to the needs of our patients. By having a team of health-care professionals, including doctors, nurse practitioners, nurses and social workers, all at the same location providing same-day care, the North Vancouver Primary and Urgent Care Centre is a real solution for people on the North Shore. For residents seeking local access to responsive health-care services, this will make a big difference in their lives.”

Dr. Kathleen Ross, president, Doctors of BC 
“We believe the UPCC will strengthen primary care in the North Vancouver area and ensure people there have access to the health-care services they need, while also supporting long-term ongoing care.”

Dr. Dedeshya Holowenko, board chair, North Shore Division of Family Practice 

“The North Shore Division of Family Practice is excited to be celebrating the opening of the new urgent primary care centre in North Vancouver. We want to thank the Ministry of Health, Vancouver Coastal Health and the many people behind the scenes that have been involved in bringing this centre to the North Shore.”

Jacqollyne Keath, board chair, Nurses and Nurse Practitioners of BC 
“Nurses and Nurse Practitioners of BC are pleased to see that the knowledge, skills and expertise of the entire health-care team utilized to improve access to health care for all British Columbians through urgent and primary care centres. We believe that this approach is pivotal in ensuring BC families can access health-care services, and we are excited to see the launch of another urgent and primary care centre in BC”

Learn More:

To learn more about the Province's primary health-care strategy, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2018PREM0034-001010

To learn more about the Province's strategy to increase the number of nurse practitioners, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2018HLTH0034-000995

To learn more about the Province's strategy to recruit and retain more family medicine graduates, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2018HLTH0052-001043

North Vancouver UPCC

The new North Vancouver UPCC includes the following:

  • Improved access to care through extended weekend and evening hours.

  • Open seven days a week, 365 days per year; Monday to Saturday from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., and on Sundays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. regardless of holidays.

  • The most urgent patients will be treated first.

  • The UPCC is an integral part of the North Vancouver Central Primary Care Network catchment (population approximately 69,000) but will provide access to urgent and primary care for the whole North Shore.

  • Of the total North Shore population, 40,271 or 20%, are over 65 years of age or older. Of those living with illness or chronic conditions (41%), the top five identified conditions on the North Shore are hypertension, asthma, mood disorders, osteoarthritis and diabetes.

  • More than 33,000 patients across the North Shore are considered unattached (16%), of which 11,500 reside in the North Vancouver Central Primary Care Network catchment area. 

  • In 2018/19, nearly 41% of ED visits by North Shore residents were triaged as non-emergency at Lions Gate Hospital, with Sundays being the busiest day. 

  • Annual staffing and operating costs for the UPCC are approximately $3.378 million.

  • One-time costs for startup of $115,000 and a $1.95 million capital investment.

  • The UPCC is approximately 604 square metres (6,500 square feet) and includes:

    • 13 exam rooms, a treatment room, three stretcher bays and a waiting room.

  • The site is leased from Seymour Health Group.

  • Using a team-based care model, urgent and primary care centres identify unattached patients and support them until they are connected to the most appropriate provider in the community. They also provide:

    • Extended hours of care (evenings/weekends/holidays);

    • Basic in-office urgent care services (e.g., sprains and simple fractures, minor cuts requiring stitches, minor burns, rapid access to mental health and substance-use crisis intervention services);

    • Assessment and treatment for minor illnesses (e.g., earaches, abdominal pain, skin rashes or infections, urinary tract infections);

    • On-site or close access to diagnostic imaging and laboratory services (e.g., electrocardiograms, X-rays, blood tests).

  • Primary care is the everyday basic health care given by a health-care provider.

  • Urgent primary care is the care that people need within 12 to 24 hours.

  • Approximately 40% of visits made to area emergency departments could be dealt with in alternative settings, including an urgent and primary care centre.

  • UPCCs are part of a comprehensive strategy to transform B.C.͛s health system by bringing together and coordinating with health-care providers, services and programs to make it easier for people to access care, receive follow-up care and connect to other services they may need.

Carrie Stefanson

Public Affairs Leader
Vancouver Coastal Health
Office: 604.708.5340
Cell: 604.312.1148
E:  carrie.stefanson@vch.ca

SOURCE: Urgent and Primary Care Centre opens in North Vancouver ( )
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