People in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows will have increased access to team-based health care with the launch of two primary care networks (PCNs), and an urgent and primary care centre (UPCC).

MAPLE RIDGE - People in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows will have increased access to team-based health care with the launch of two primary care networks (PCNs), and an urgent and primary care centre (UPCC). 

"Finding a family doctor and nurse practitioner can be challenging, and in the Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows area, more than 18,000 people didn't have a consistent primary care provider when I became minister of health,"said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. "To help break down this barrier, we are working with community partners to create a solution where these new primary care networks will connect thousands of people to a regular health-care provider, and the urgent and primary care centre will deliver better, faster health care for people who need it most."

The two primary care networks will be the Maple Ridge PCN and the Pitt Meadows PCN. They will improve access to care, strengthen support for patients and providers, and see community partners work to attach residents in these areas to team-based primary care providers.

Once fully operational, the annual operating cost of the two primary care networks will be approximately $6.5 million and the annual operating cost of the urgent and primary care centre will be approximately $1.7 million. 

The full-time equivalent of approximately 41 new health-care employees will be recruited over the next three years to support the PCNs and the new UPCC. This includes the equivalent of 11 full-time general practitioners, six nurse practitioners, in addition to adding registered nurses, clinical pharmacists, social workers, clinical counsellors and other allied health-care professionals.

The primary care networks will include a part-time nurse practitioner to support the Katzie First Nations population and a part-time Elder in care to support culturally safe and traditional care.

"The Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows primary care networks and urgent and primary care centre will help address gaps in everyday health care and support a long-term relationship between patients and their health-care provider," added Dix.

The PCNs will focus on the specific needs of the community and improve health services identified as high priority for the community, including: 

  • patient attachment and access;
  • maternity care;
  • Indigenous health;
  • an integrated chronic-care program;
  • adult, child and youth mental health;
  • chronic pain;
  • substance use; and
  •  seniors care and prevention.

The Ridge Meadows Urgent and Primary Care Centre is the 12th centre to be announced throughout British Columbia. 

The centre will open in two phases. The first phase opened Oct. 1, offering same-day access to a range of primary care services during evenings and weekends by an interdisciplinary team. By December, the centre will gradually expand its hours to seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. By July 2020 during the second phase, the UPCC will be permanently co-located within a future site and will offer a full scope of comprehensive care to people in the region. In both phases, the UPCC will work to attach patients to a primary care practitioner in either the centre or in the community. 

The PCNs will operate in close partnership and collaboration with the Ridge Meadows Division of Family Practice, Fraser Health and the PCN steering committee.

Learn More:

To learn more about the Province's primary health-care strategy, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2018PREM0034-001010

Three backgrounders follow.

Backgrounder 1

What people are saying about team-based primary care

Lisa Beare, MLA for Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows - 

"The primary care networks and UPCC are an exciting step forward for people living in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows. I know how hard it can be for many people in our community to find a family doctor and I am proud of our government􀍛s action to increase access to consistent, primary care throughout B.C., including in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows."

Bob D'Eith, MLA for Maple Ridge-Mission -

"Regular access to primary care can help people live their healthiest lives and through team-based care, health professionals will be able to work together to best address the needs of their patients. By making consistent and comprehensive primary care a priority, our government is contributing to making a big difference in the lives of people in our community."

Chief Grace George, Katzie First Nation -

"The Katzie First Nation primary care health program is excited to work with community partners to offer a holistic approach that incorporates physical, mental, emotional and spiritual
elements of healing and growth for people supported at the new urgent and primary care centre."

Jim Sinclair, board chair, Fraser Health -

"By partnering with the Ministry of Health, the Ridge Meadows Division of Family Practice and the Katzie First Nation, Fraser Health is co-ordinating health-care providers, services and programs to make it easier for residents of Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows to connect with health and wellness support. This partnership supports patients in improving their health, avoiding unnecessary hospital visits and remaining independent."

Dr. Kathleen Ross, president, Doctors of BC -

"We look forward to the integration of the UPCC in hopes it will strengthen primary care in the Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows areas and ensure people in the community have access to the health-care services they need, while also supporting a longitudinal relationship between patients and their family doctors."

Jacqollyne Keath, board chair, Nurses and Nurse Practitioners of BC - 

"The Association of Nurses and Nurse Practitioners of BC is pleased that the knowledge, skills and expertise of the entire health-care team will improve access to health care for British Columbians through primary care networks and urgent and primary care centres. We believe that this approach will be pivotal in ensuring B.C. families can access health-care services in B.C."

Dr. Ursula Luitingh, primary care network physician lead, past board chair, Ridge Meadows Division of Family Practice - 

"The Ridge Meadows Division of Family Practice and local family physicians look forward to working in our primary care network that will help us better support our patients. The division, Fraser Health, Katzie First Nation, community partners and patients have all worked extremely hard together to bring our vision to reality for our community. With our pioneering  local vision, all residents, including people without a family doctor, families, seniors, Indigenous, children and youth, moms and babies and people living with chronic pain, mental health, addictions and chronic disease, will all have better access to services and patient care."

Backgrounder 2

Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows primary care networks

The two primary care networks in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows are a partnership with the Ridge Meadows Division of Family Practice, Fraser Health, the PCN steering committee, the Katzie First Nation, and supported by the General Practice Services Committee, a joint committee of the Ministry of Health and the Doctors of BC. Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows have combined population of 102,489, which is expected to grow to 120,788 in 2025. The health professionals who will be working in the two PCNs will be part of a networked and team-based approach to providing care. The full-time equivalent (FTE) of 45 news employees will be hired as follows:

Pitt Meadows PCN:

  • Four FTE general practitioners, three FTE nurse practitioners, 1.5 FTE registered nurses, five FTE allied health professionals and one clinical pharmacist.
  • The PCN is expected to attach 8,750 patients by 2021-22.

Maple Ridge PCN:

  • 4.75 FTE general practitioners, three FTE nurse practitioners, 2.5 FTE registered nurses, five FTE allied health professional teams and one clinical pharmacist.
  • The PCN is expected to attach 10,188 patients by 2021-22.

First Nations resources:

  • In addition, the primary care networks will include 0.5 FTE nurse practitioners to support the Katize First Nations and 0.5 Elder-in-care to support culturally safe and traditional
    care. 
  • These resources are expected to attach 200 patients by 2021-22.

How people can access primary care networks: 

  • A website will be established for the networks to provide information to patients, including which clinics are part of the network, services provided and hours of operation,
    as well as how to access services and become attached to a practice. 
  • Each network will actively communicate with its community as it grows its services so that people living in the community know how and where to access the health services
    they need. 

Primary care network attributes include:

  • processes to ensure all people in a community have access to quality primary care and are attached within a primary care network;
  • provision of extended hours of care, including early mornings, evenings and weekends;
  • provision of same-day access for urgently needed care through the PCN or UPCC;
  • access to advice and information virtually (e.g., online, text, email) and face to face;
  • provision of comprehensive primary care services through networking of primary care
  • providers and teams, to include maternity, inpatient, residential, mild/moderate mental health and substance use, and preventative care;
  • co-ordination of care with diagnostic services, hospital care, specialty care and specialized community services for all patients and with a particular emphasis on those with mental-health and substance-use conditions, those with complex medical conditions and/or frailty, and surgical services provided in community;
  • clear communication within the network of providers and to the public to create awareness about appropriate use of services; and 
  • care that is culturally safe and appropriate.

Backgrounder 3

Ridge Meadows Urgent and Primary Care Centre

The urgent primary care centre (UPCC) will be operated by the Fraser Health Authority, with the support of the Ridge Meadows Division of Family Practice and the Katzie First Nations. 

  • The UPCC will open in two phases. In Phase 1, which opened Oct. 1, the centre will be temporarily located at the Carelife building on the Ridge Meadows Hospital campus, open Monday to Friday from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. until December 2019 when the centre will be open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. In July 2020, Phase 2 will see the UPCC move to a new, permanent space co-located with a full-scope primary care centre. 
  • People can self-refer for their urgent and primary care needs. Patients can also be referred by community service providers, other health-care professionals and agencies. 
  • People can also schedule appointments. During busy periods, appointments will be prioritised based on urgency.
  • Social worker and clinical counselling services will be available to assist the care team and patients.
  • Additional registered nurses will provide triage and navigation support, as well as patient care.
  • The UPCC will gradually expand to include a full-service team and same-day primary care services.
  • With the partnership of the Ridge Meadows Division of Family Practice and other resources, the UPCC will facilitate attachment for residents in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows who seek a regular primary care provider. 
  • The UPCC expects to support approximately 25,000 annual patient visits with the new team of providers.
  • Patients requiring laboratory testing beyond the simple specimen collection will be provided with requisitions for lab tests to be completed at the nearby laboratories, including the Ridge Meadows Hospital laboratory and LifeLabs Medical Laboratory Services.

Ministry of Health
Communications
250-952-1887 (media line)

Fraser Health
Media Line
604-613-0794


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