Upgrades coming to Western Hospital dialysis unit

The Western Hospital dialysis unit will receive upgrades similar to the Souris dialysis unit (above).

Investing in infrastructure -

Islanders with chronic kidney disease will benefit from improvements to Western Hospital’s hemodialysis unit.

The provincial government is investing $500,000 through its capital budget to create a better-equipped, more spacious hemodialysis unit within the hospital. Design and infrastructure planning begins this week and construction should start by the end of summer. 

"Every day, dozens of islanders receive treatment and care for kidney disease including screening, monitoring, and dialysis," Health and Wellness Minister Robert Mitchell said. "When patients must spend hours on dialysis treatment several times per week, it's important to be able to offer that treatment in a safe, comfortable environment with modern technologies.

"The enhancements being made to the dialysis service at Western Hospital will ensure that Islanders in western PEI with kidney disease are receiving the quality care they need, where they need it.”

At the heart of the project is replacing the existing water filtration with a new state-of-the art system. This will improve the quality of water used in the filtration of waste from a patient’s bloodstream, a vital process for those receiving dialysis.

Additional renovations will improve the patient care environment and experience, giving the patient more space and privacy. The design will be based on best practices for the delivery of dialysis services, as well as patient confidentiality, infection prevention and control standards. 
“Hemodialysis treatment is potentially a lifelong commitment for some individuals. Having a bright, modern welcoming environment is important for our patients who receive treatment three times per week for several hours at a time,” said registered nurse and provincial renal program director Cheryl Banks. “This important and much-needed renovation and upgrade will allow us to enhance the overall quality of care we provide our patients and the work-life of our incredibly dedicated staff.”

There will also be room to expand dialysis at Western Hospital in the future if needed. The same forward-looking plans were used in the Queen Elizabeth and Prince County hospital dialysis upgrades in 2012 and the Souris dialysis renovation in 2015. 

In addition to the dialysis upgrades, Western Hospital also will renovate its acute care area to create a new palliative care space, allowing for a more therapeutic environment for end-of-life care. The entire project should be finished by early 2019.

More information about the PEI Renal Program is available at www.healthpei.ca/dialysis. Visit www.healthpei.ca/palliativecare for additional information about the provincial Palliative Care Program. 


Media contact:
Amanda Hamel


About chronic kidney disease: 
Chronic kidney disease, also called chronic kidney failure, is the gradual loss of kidney function. Chronic kidney disease occurs when a disease or condition impairs kidney function, causing kidney damage to worsen over several months or years.

Prominent risk factors for chronic kidney disease include, but are not limited to:
•    diabetes (Type 1 or 2);
•    high blood pressure;
•    cardiovascular disease;
•    smoking;
•    obesity;
•    family history of chronic kidney disease;
•    abnormal kidney structure; and,
•     age. 

About Provincial Renal Services: 
The province’s various renal services support 223 Islanders, including 23 in the peritoneal dialysis program, 104 in the hemodialysis program, and 106 in the post-kidney transplant program.  An additional 27 Islanders with early onset chronic kidney disease are being closely followed by the provincial program monthly.

Hemodialysis treatment is offered at four locations across the province: 
•    Souris Dialysis Unit (Souris Hospital) – 7 clients receiving treatment 
•    Charlottetown Hemodialysis Unit (QEH) – 62 clients receiving treatment 
•    Summerside Hemodialysis Unit (PCH) – 27 clients receiving treatment
•    Alberton Dialysis Unit (Western Hospital) – 8 clients receiving treatment

Provincial Renal Program expansion:
A series of provincial government investments have been made since 2011 to modernize and expand the Provincial Renal Program, including: 

•    constructing a new provincial renal clinic at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital;
•    adding an evening shift at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital hemodialysis unit to address the growing need for service in this region, increasing capacity from 58 to 67 patients; 
•    establishing peritoneal dialysis and post-kidney transplant programs;
•    hiring dedicated staff to the Provincial Renal Program to support existing and new programs, including a pharmacist, registered nurses, a social worker, and dietitian;
•    hiring a full-time nurse practitioner to the Provincial Renal Program to work in collaboration with nephrologists, assisting with patient triage and more timely access to renal clinic care;
•    renovating and upgrading the Souris dialysis unit, increasing treatment capacity from 10 to 12 patients;
•    relocating the Provincial Renal Program offices to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, hiring two nephrologists, specialized renal nurses, dieticians and social workers; and, 
•    building new hemodialysis units at the Queen Elizabeth and Prince County hospitals, increasing the number of patient treatment spaces at both sites.

General Inquiries

Department of Health and Wellness
4th Floor North, Shaw Building
105 Rochford Street
Charlottetown, PE   C1A 7N8

Phone: 902-368-6414
Fax: 902-368-4121