April 29, 2014
New Saskatchewan Hospital Facility Closer to Reality
|Health Minister Dustin Duncan announces plans for the new SHNB and adjoining Adult Correctional Facility.
Construction of a new Saskatchewan Hospital North Battleford (SHNB) along with an adjacent correctional facility is to begin in the summer of 2015.
Health Minister Dustin Duncan, Corrections and Policing Minister Christine Tell, and Minister responsible for SaskBuilds Don McMorris made the announcement today to a large group of patients, staff, and community representatives in the Hospital's cafeteria.
The Ministers also announced that the new 188-bed mental health hospital and adjoining 96-room correctional facility will be built as a P3 (public -private partnership) project. The P3 process is to begin immediately with issuance tomorrow (April 30) by the government of a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) from interested proponents.
Capital construction cost of the project will be determined through the P3 bidding process and is estimated to be between $175 million to $250 million.
Minister Duncan said "The new Saskatchewan Hospital North Battleford will better meet the mental health needs of patients who require inpatient rehabilitation, ensuring they receive the care and support they need in a modern environment."
He acknowledged that 'this has been a long wait for patients, family, staff and members of the community . . .This new complex is incredibly important for this community and our province, and I am excited for the construction process to soon begin."
Duncan thanked the planning team, led by Prairie North Health Region, for the "remarkable work on this unique and unprecedented project' thus far, adding that "the focus has always been from a patient-first approach, looking at ways to design a new hospital that will allow health providers to best serve patients."
Minister Tell told the audience that the new correctional facility component of the project will be for adult offenders - males and females. The North Battleford Youth Centre currently located in a separate wing of the 100-year-old Saskatchewan Hospital building will be closed. The adult Battlefords Community Correctional Centre, presently located in a separate building on the SHNB grounds, will also be closed. The date of the closures has yet to be determined. The Drumming Hill Youth Centre will continue to operate.
Tell stated that "The new integrated facility will be built with a vision to provide important support for offenders living with mental health issues. The new space will also provide effective correctional programming for offenders, which will assist in reducing crime and contribute to public safety."
Programming and treatment for the hospital and correctional populations will be separate.
SaskBuilds and P3
Minister McMorris said, "Building this new project through a public-private partnership will allow us to harness the best of private sector ingenuity and innovation, while also maximizing operational efficiencies."
He added that the P3 process will deliver the new project on time and on budget, and will also ensure the facilities will be properly maintained over the term of the agreement.
Saskbuilds was established as a Treasury Board Crown corporation in October 2012 and is responsible for leading a review of procurement options - both traditional and alternative. The focus is to help plan and manage pressing, large-scale infrastructure rpojects - such as the SHNB replacement - that are high-cost and a priority for the province. Such projects may be candidates for alternative financing, such as public-private partnerships, to bring them to reality in a timely, cost-effective manner.
Prairie North Regional Health Authority
PNRHA Board Chairperson Bonnie O'Grady expressed optimism and confidence that patients, staff, and the people of Saskatchewan will indeed soon see a new Saskatchewan Hospital North Battleford. She acknowledged that while the new mental health and corrections complex may look different than was first planned for SHNB replacement alone, "we are confident that the combined project you have just heard about from Ministers Duncan, Tell, and McMorris - with the replacement of Saskatchewan Hospital at its core - puts the needs of patients and clients first."
O'Grady said the end result will be an improved quality of care and ultimately, an improved quality of life for individuals struggling with long-term psychiatric illness.
O'Grady acknowledged that planning for and realization of a new Saqskatchewan Hospital has been a long road "full of hope and optimism, excitement and anticipation; hard work, dedication, planning, and waiting." She also identified that "it's been a challenging road, marked with curves and a few bumps, some slight detours, and a few delays."
O'Grady assured all those who have been involved in this work that "your efforts have not been in vain." She said, "Your work - especially over the past year through the 3P planning exercises that demanded so much of you - is being recognized and incorporated. We know you have put your heart and soul into the work of designing a new SHNB. Your input has been vital and your work is being rewarded."
The PNRHA Chair also addressed the project's Corrections colleagues: "We have enjoyed a long and positive relatiohship with you on the Saskatchewan Hospital grounds, and we look forward to building on that success through this exciting, innovative, and collaborative project."
She noted that Prairie North Health Region is proud to have served as a catalyst for a new Saskatchewan Hospital North Battleford, and thanked all those who supported and joined the efforts.
O'Grady concluded with an invitation to Ministers Duncan, Tell and McMorris to return to SHNB as soon as possible "to turn the sod and mark the official start of construction on this long-awaited and much cherished project."
PNHR Leadership and Employees
Prairie North CEO David Fan served as master of ceremonies for the event. He thanked the SHNB staff and psychiatrists for their dedication and commitment to the patients.
Fan said he has learned a lot from Saskatchewan Hospital's health care and service providers through recent Lean work at the facility. "What struck me was the special relatiohsip that you have with your patients...the words, the touch just come naturally to you.....you treat everyone like family. It's truly remarkable and quite unique."
Fan also indicated that he had sensed doubt and fear that replacement of the century-old Saskatchewan Hospital would never happen. He expressed optimism that the presence of three Cabinet ministers and their announcement at SHNB today (Tuesday, April 29, 2014) would allay that fear, uncertainty and doubt.
Fan encouraged everyone to "continue to work together to make the new SHNB a reality."
To view the Government of Saskatchewan News Release, click here.
For a print-friendly version of the news release, click here.
SHNB Backgrounder - Health
SHNB Backgrounder - Corrections
SHNB Backgrounder - SaskBuilds