Langley Memorial Hospital’s emergency department saw about 47,500 patients in 2017 and more than 46,000 people the year before.
And the numbers will only continue to grow as the population of the community grows.
A year ago the B.C. Liberal government announced an ER expansion, and despite the change of government to NDP control, the expansion is going ahead with construction expected to start this fall.
“The redeveloped site will mean even better patient-centred care for all those who visit Langley Memorial Hospital,” said Tasleem Juma, the Fraser Health spokesperson.
The $30-million project will see the number of treatment spaces rise from the current 31 to 49. There will be a separate children’s waiting area.
Separate entrances will be created for walk-in patients and ambulance arrivals, and the number of trauma bays will increase from one to two.
A secure and separate treatment area will be added for people with mental health and substance use issues so they can be treated in private.
The B.C. government is funding $20.06 million of the project while the remaining $10 million will come from the Langley Memorial Hospital Foundation.
The foundation has been working to line up significant donations, and will launch a campaign once the majority of the funds are pledged – a typical format for fundraising on major projects.
The foundation’s campaign will be aimed at making it through the home stretch of its funding commitment. That’s likely going to be around the time of the groundbreaking and construction start.
The foundation has been involved in the planning process with Fraser Health, and there are concept drawings of the ER based on finding the most efficient design and layout.
“The clinical planning team went to Surrey. They went to Nanaimo, and they went to Lions Gate, and a couple of other sites and really looked at what kind of care delivery model was working and what would work in our emergency,” said Kate Ludlam, donor relations coordinator for the foundation.
They visited facilities that have had emergency department changes in recent years.
“I think that what you are going to see is a department that looks very different,” she noted.
When shovels hit the ground and the heavy equipment moves in, Langley Memorial will still be where people can go for health care.
“The emergency department will remain fully operational during construction, and plans are in place to ensure the safety and well-being of patients and staff,” Juma noted.
The construction alone is expected to generate approximately 113 direct jobs and 69 jobs in supplier industries for a total of 182 jobs.
Fraser Health hasn’t said what the staffing implications will be for the expanded emergency department.
“As part of our planning for the expansion project, we will be looking at staffing requirements and ensuring appropriate staff is available,” Juma said.