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New personal care homes to lighten load on hospitals, inquest hears

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The provincial government is building more personal care homes to free up beds in Winnipeg hospitals.

Lori Lamont, vice president and chief nursing officer of the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, said today that the province has approved funding to build two new facilities with 120 beds apiece.

Lamont also told an inquest looking into the death of Brian Sinclair that funding had also been approved to expand another facility by 60 beds.

She said it is all intended to free up acute care hospital beds and to meet urgent needs in the community.

"There are 80 or so in acute care beds now and 100 are on our waiting list... at home living with home care and some family support." Lamont said.

She said the facilities should open in two years.

Lamont said the WRHA is also speaking with the province to look at building more facilities to meet the continuing demand.

The inquest, which is examining the death of Sinclair, has been told earlier that the ER in the Health Sciences Centre gets backed up with patients that can't be admitted immediately into hospital because there are no acute care beds available.

Sinclair, 45, a double amputee who used a wheelchair, went to the HSC on Sept. 19, 2008, and was pronounced dead 34 hours later after being discovered untriaged in the ER waiting room.

Sinclair died of a bladder infection caused by a blocked urinary catheter.

An autopsy found Sinclair could have died in the waiting room two to seven hours before he was found.

Kevin.rollason@freepress.mb.ca

History

Updated on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 10:53 AM CST: corrects typo

11:11 AM: Updates with full writethru

11:29 AM: Corrects date

11:36 AM: Corrects typo

2:18 PM: Video added.

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