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Sick residents will be allowed back into nursing homes amid doctor shortage: Shannex

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Long-term care provider Shannex has announced it will hold places for those nursing home residents who are admitted to hospital or sent for assessment as Nova Scotia’s Colchester region experiences ongoing doctor shortages.

Shannex made the statement on Dec. 10, saying it “will hold the bed for any resident admitted or sent for assessment from these homes.”

READ MORE: Province supporting Melville Gardens transition to more nursing home beds

Readmission will also be handled on a case-by-case basis, according to the organization.

Two Shannex long-term care communities in the Colchester region have been affected by physician shortages since Dec. 3. The impacted communities are Debert Court and a neighbourhood in Victoria Way at Cedarstone Enhanced Care in Truro, N.S. Care at other Shannex locations remains the same.

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As a result of the understaffing, any one of the 61 residents living in the Debert Court and Victoria Way communities would have previously lost their bed if they were sent for assessment or admitted to hospital. However, Shannex’s recent announcement ensures those residents will no longer be at risk of losing their beds if they require medical attention.

“We understand this is a very difficult situation and want you to take comfort knowing that your loved one’s room is reserved,” Shannex said in a media release.

READ MORE: N.S. needs to boost long-term care facilities’ staffing levels to address ‘overstressed’ homes — expert panel

The company adds that it has been working with the government and its “sector partners” for several months to reach viable short- and long-term solutions as soon as possible.

While the ongoing physician shortage continues, Shannex says it will only be able to admit new residents who have an existing physician in the community agreeing to continue to provide care. The company adds that all potential new admissions to Debert Court and Victoria Way will be decided on a case-by-case basis.

“We will collaborate with our health system partners to ensure that we can safely care for residents who may have experienced a change in health status and do not have access to an attending physician in the home,” Shannex said.

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“The primary goal will always be the return the resident to their home if it is possible to do so safely.”