Temporary closure of beds in Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre’s Emergency Department

July 23, 2021

RED DEER – As a result of a staffing shortage, AHS is temporarily closing seven treatment spaces in the Emergency Department (ED) at Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre (RDRHC).

The ED continues to be open and operational. Patients in need of emergency care will continue to receive it.

We continue to have 49 spaces open for patients who need. This includes space in the Minor Treatment Area of the department to support those with less urgent needs like suturing of minor wounds, IV therapy and orthopedic related care from 7:30 a.m to 11:30 p.m.

We are working to resolve these staffing challenges as quickly as possible on multiple fronts, including through hiring additional staff. Six of the 19 positions that have been posted since June 15 have been filled at this time, with staff in the orientation process. We anticipate they will be working independently in the ED by mid-August.

Our hiring efforts continue and we will reopen spaces as soon as we are able to. Until then, we have been working to bring in supports from ED trained staff in other units when possible.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had an impact through staff redeployment and a depletion of the available pool of casual staff, which is being seen across Canada. As well, with frontline staff working extremely hard through the course of the pandemic, staff are taking well-deserved vacation time and we thank them for their incredible efforts through the waves of the pandemic to date.

It is common, especially in the summer – when staffing levels are historically lower as our healthcare workers tend to take more personal time or vacation – for resources to be adjusted to align with staffing levels.

We will continue to support our staff, and work with them, through challenging times such as this to ensure safe care for patients and safe and healthy working conditions for staff.

Alberta Health Services is the provincial health authority responsible for planning and delivering health supports and services for more than four million adults and children living in Alberta. Its mission is to provide a patient-focused, quality health system that is accessible and sustainable for all Albertans.