Ontario’s Patient Ombudsman, Christine Elliott, paid a quick visit to the North Bay Regional Hospital this morning to learn more about patient-centred initiatives taking place in Northeastern Ontario and educate Northerners about the role of the Ombudsman in the patient complaint process.
There were no media interviews offered.
Her visit to North Bay was the first in a series. She's off to Sault Ste. Marie, Espanola and Sudbury this week. She will meet with health care providers, patients, and the NE LHIN Board of Directors to learn about the many ways Northerners are involved in health care planning and decision-making.
Elliott's role is to receive and respond to complaints from patients and caregivers about public hospitals, long-term care homes and Community Care Access Centres (CCACs) to help meet the needs of people who have tried and not had their concerns fairly resolved through existing complaint mechanisms.
“I appreciate the opportunity to visit the NE LHIN and learn more about the innovative and unique ways patients and caregivers are being involved in healthcare planning across Northeastern Ontario, and how they’re improving the system overall. It’s very important for my office to be as inclusive and accessible as possible, and a large part of that commitment is understanding local healthcare needs and priorities,” said Elliott.
Patients and family members are active participants in several LHIN planning tables, including the NE LHIN Dementia Steering Committee and Regional Mental Health and Addictions Advisory Council, as well as Health Links and Health Hubs. Later this spring, the LHIN will call for Northerners to join a Patient and Family Advisory Council which will be instrumental in guiding the LHIN’s work to improve the patient experience.
“Engagement with fellow Northerners to develop key planning pieces, such as our three-year strategic plan and Aboriginal Heath Care and Reconciliation Action Plan, are the bedrock of our LHIN work to strengthen the Northeastern Ontario health care system,” said Louise Paquette, NE LHIN CEO. “As well, our complaints process and web access point, ensure Northerners’ concerns and comments are heard and responded to around the clock.”
BayToday hopes to update this story with an interview with Elliott.