Renovation enhances patient care at RIH

Youth in crisis will have access to enhanced patient care at Royal Inland Hospital

Youth in crisis will have access to enhanced patient care with the opening of the newly renovated pediatric psychiatry area at Royal Inland Hospital (RIH).

“Our youth are among our most vulnerable patients, and it’s important that they are cared for in an environment that is comfortable, welcoming and, most importantly, safe,” says Health Minister Terry Lake.

“The redevelopment of the pediatric psychiatry area at RIH will allow clinicians to better care for youth in crisis in a calm and therapeutic setting,” says Todd Stone, MLA-Kamloops South Thompson.

The RIH pediatric psychiatry unit is located within the larger pediatrics unit at RIH. The goal of the renovation project was to update the environment to provide a calm and safe haven for pediatric psychiatry patients, and one that allowed for better privacy and confidentiality for the important work being done on the unit.

“Together, we’re transforming the way psychiatric care is provided to youth, to make it more friendly, accessible and comfortable,” says Jackie Tegart, MLA for Fraser-Nicola. “Youth in crises can find it here at Royal Inland.”

The renovation included the integration of two existing psychiatric inpatient rooms, a consultation area and the staff room. The space now houses two inpatient rooms, a private consultation/observation room and a comfortable youth lounge area. There is also a new counselling area, a dedicated washroom, a nurses’ station, and a nearby shower room to serve all patients on the pediatrics unit.

The existing outdoor recreational area on a patio off the pediatrics unit was also renovated to create a more welcoming space for all children, youth and their families on the unit.

“This renovation was designed to better meet the needs of both general pediatric and child psychiatry patients at Royal Inland,” says Interior Health Board Chair Norman Embree. “Our commitment is to quality, safe patient care for all, and I’m happy to see this project come to fruition.”

The RIH pediatric psychiatry unit is a crisis stabilization unit for youth. Those admitted are supported in their treatment by a variety of health professionals including psychiatrists, nurses, social workers, child and youth workers and sometimes occupational therapists, and participate in one-on-one and group therapy before being discharged with appropriate community supports.

The project cost for the renovation was approximately $850,000, and was shared between the Province through Interior Health and the Thompson Regional Hospital District (TRHD). The pediatric psychiatry unit will serve patients and families in the Kamloops area, but also those throughout the Thompson, Nicola and Cariboo regions, from Merritt to Williams Lake, and Lillooet to Chase.

“The TRHD was pleased to contribute to the renovation of the pediatric psychiatry area at RIH, because we know the entire region will benefit from this project,” says TRHD Chair Peter Milobar. “This is an important investment in health care for youth and families.”

The RIH Foundation also secured a $20,000 grant from the RBC Foundation, which went toward helping furnish the new space.

“Child and youth mental health affects more than just the child involved – it impacts the entire family unit,” says Heidi Coleman, CEO of the RIH Foundation. “We were thrilled to be able to match the RBC Foundation with this project. They believe in investing in children’s mental health enhancements, so it was a perfect fit.”

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