Fredericton hospital gets renovations after cleanliness complaints

FREDERICTON – The Dr. Everett Chalmers Regional Hospital is getting some renovations after criticism from patients.

Horizon Health Network CEO John McGarry said the hospital, which was built in 1976, hasn’t seen notable investment in about six years, so they’re “playing catch-up.”

Work began with the orthopaedics unit, where 19 patient rooms were repainted with new sinks, toilets and floors. The general surgery unit will see the same renovations.

“I think everybody’s aware that we had some complaints last year, regarding cleanliness issues,” McGarry said. “So we’ve changed our policies and practices, but a lot of it had to do with the facility.”

The transitional care unit is also seeing improvements — it will get new flooring, paint, countertops and ceiling tiles.

Pauline Cormier, a patient at the hospital since Dec. 12 who’s waiting for a nursing home bed, calls the unit home.

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“They’re very good to us. Everything’s very well managed,” she said. “I would just like to get home or to a nursing home or somewhere. It’s very difficult to wait.”

McGarry said he’s hoping the renovations will make that wait more bearable.

“When you’re in the hospital for three or four days, you might be able to tolerate some things, more so than if you’re there for three or four months,” he said.

The front lobby of the hospital will also see improvements over the coming months. McGarry said it’s “one of the most congested hospital lobbies in the province.”

Nicole Tupper, the hospital’s executive director, said the renovations are “wonderful and needed.”

“As you walk through the building you’ll see a number of areas have already had change. The paint refreshed, all the public corridors have been touched up,” she said. “It’s better for the staff and patients.”

Most of the renovations will be completed this spring.