WHGH expanding assessment centre for patients with COVID-19 and influenza-like illness

Effective Wednesday, December 7, 2022, the COVID-19 Assessment Centre at West Haldimand General Hospital (WHGH) will expand its services to allow assessments of both adult and paediatric patients for influenza-like illness (ILI). These changes will help meet rising community demand and ease pressures on area emergency departments. The clinic will be staffed by physicians, nurses and medical professionals.

“WHGH is committed to providing timely and high-quality access to health care professionals through the COVID, Cough, Flu Care Clinic (CCFCC),” said AnneMarie VanSickle, Clinical Director of the WHGH Emergency Department and the CCFCC. “Expanding the services we offer to both adult and paediatric patients with cold, cough, and flu symptoms facilitate the right care in the right place for the communities we serve. The CCFCC will relieve pressures in Haldimand emergency departments, and we are optimistic this will decrease the length of time people wait.” 

Hours of operation for the assessment centre, now known as the COVID, Cough, Flu Care Clinic (CCFCC), will be 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Sunday to Friday. Patients MUST book an appointment by calling 905-768-3311 ext. 1113. Please have your health card ready. As always, we will continue to monitor demand and expand where necessary and possible. Patients seeking a COVID-19 assessment can book online by clicking here: https://bit.ly/3OEvWIp 

The changes are being made amid the ongoing COVID-19 burden, and an unusually high seasonal surge in viral illnesses. All in all, this is resulting in significant strain on the health system, particularly emergency departments and creating staffing challenges across all sectors.

WHGH, like many hospitals across Ontario, is experiencing additional patient volumes as a direct result of COVID-19 and influenza-like illnesses.

Please note that local primary care providers should continue to be the first option, where possible, for patients seeking assessments for COVID-19 and Influenza-Like Illness.

We continue to work with our local partners to address recent challenges regarding patient volumes as best we can. In the meantime, patients and families attending our Emergency Department should continue to anticipate longer than normal wait times for non-emergency cases. Our staff and physicians are working extremely hard to manage the health and safety of patients with limited resources, so please be kind and understanding.

Alternate options for less urgent needs:

Please know that other options are available for people not experiencing a medical emergency. You can visit your family doctor for health concerns that can wait a day or more; contact Health Connect Ontario to speak with a registered nurse 24/7 via phone or web chat, or visit an urgent care centre for health concerns that aren’t life-threatening but can’t wait for a doctor’s appointment.

Additionally, people who need health care advice or are unsure about their medical issues can contact Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000 to speak with a Registered Nurse. Patients can also visit a local pharmacist if they need a prescription refill.

WHGH remains committed to helping everyone who needs medical care in the communities we serve. Actively recruiting and retaining physicians and nurses is one of our top priorities, in addition to improving patient experience, addressing patient flow, and increasing access to services.

Important information about the clinic:

  • The Clinic is not a COVID-19 assessment centre. A COVID-19 test is only provided if necessary and if you are eligible according to the provincial guidelines. (COVID-19 test and testing location information | COVID-19 (coronavirus) in Ontario)
  • Patients will receive timely in-person care from health care providers for flu and COVID-like symptoms on the same day or next day, if possible. This may include self-care advice, COVID-19 tests, or prescriptions.
  • WHGH is working collaboratively with Haldimand War Memorial Hospital (HWMH), which has also recently transitioned to the COVID Cold Flu Care Clinic.  HWMH’s clinic operates Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. by appointment only. The hours may be adjusted depending on volume and scheduling. To make an appointment, please call 905-774-7431 x1000.
  • The Norfolk Family Health Team also offers clinical assessments for both adult and paediatric patients for influenza-like illnesses. The Norfolk Family Health Team’s clinic operates on Mondays from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Wednesdays from 12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., and Fridays from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. by appointment only. To make an appointment, please call 519-582-2323 x 232. Referrals can be faxed to 519-582-1315. The clinic is located at the Delhi Medical Centre (Basement), 105 Main St, Delhi, ON.
  • For more information about the CCFCC, click here: https://www.whgh.ca/covid-cold-and-flu-care-clinic/