In a letter to Fraser Health board chair Jim Sinclair and president and CEO Dr. Victoria Lee Jan. 28, Delta Mayor George Harvie pitched the City of Delta become the lease holder of the Harold and Veronica Savage Centre for Supportive Care building after it is vacated by the Delta Hospice Society. (The Canadian Press photo)

In a letter to Fraser Health board chair Jim Sinclair and president and CEO Dr. Victoria Lee Jan. 28, Delta Mayor George Harvie pitched the City of Delta become the lease holder of the Harold and Veronica Savage Centre for Supportive Care building after it is vacated by the Delta Hospice Society. (The Canadian Press photo)

City aims to take over lease from Delta Hospice Society

Harvie pitches Delta take over lease of the Harold and Veronica Savage Centre for Supportive Care

The City of Delta is looking to acquire the lease to the Harold and Veronica Savage Centre for Supportive Care building once it is vacated by the Delta Hospice Society (DHS).

In a letter released Monday afternoon addressed to Fraser Health board chair Jim Sinclair and president and CEO Dr. Victoria Lee, Mayor George Harvie urged the health authority to “hold firm” in its commitment to terminate the society’s lease of the property containing both the Irene Thomas Hospice and the Harold and Veronica Savage Centre for Supportive Care over the board’s refusal to allow medical assistance in dying (MAiD) at the Ladner facility.

“This step is important to move forward with the best chance for continuing hospice services in this location, in a manner that fully complies with provincial legislation, guidelines and policies,” Harvie wrote.

The mayor then asked for the opportunity to discuss the City of Delta becoming the lease holder of the Harold and Veronica Savage Centre for Supportive Care building, which the city would subsequently sublease to the society — with the caveat that it first have a new board in place.

According to the Delta Hospice Society’s website, the Centre for Supportive Care provides a co-ordinated source of information, referral, education and support to enhance care to individuals and family in the community, as well as patients and families of the Irene Thomas Hospice. Information, support services, counselling and equipment loans are provided free of charge.

In his letter, Harvie said the arrangement would “ensure harmonization of service delivery by the hospice consistent with Fraser Health Authority requirements and ensure that this asset remains whole to deliver vital services to the community.

“In addition to continuity of services, it is our goal to retain the existing staff and volunteers of the supportive care centre that have made the hospice a centre of excellence in this community, to the greatest possible extent,” Harvie wrote.

“We are close to seeing this long and difficult chapter in the management of the Delta Hospice finally resolved. Let us work together to ensure that the hospice enjoys a secure and stable future in Delta.”

On Jan. 15, Health Minister Adrian Dix, Sinclair and Lee issued a joint statement saying Fraser Health will will serve the Delta Hospice Society 30 days’ notice to vacate the premises when its lease expires on Feb. 25. The notice to vacate will apply to both the Irene Thomas Hospice and the Harold & Veronica Savage Centre for Supportive Care, as both buildings are on the same property adjacent to Delta Hospital and under the same lease.

As part of its transition plan, Fraser Health will open five hospice beds at Mountain View Manor, a Fraser Health-owned and operated long-term care facility located on the Delta Hospital campus, that same day. A further five hospice beds will open at the facility by mid-April.

The health authority also said in order to maintain long-term care capacity in Delta, it is acquiring 59 additional long-term care beds at Good Samaritan Delta View Care Centre, a long-term care facility in East Delta.

Despite some media reports of patients being moved early, Fraser Health told Black Press Media on Jan. 16 that residents currently residing at Irene Thomas hospice will continue to stay at the facility and receive the care they need.

READ MORE: Fraser Health to evict Delta Hospice Society, open new hospice beds next door (Jan. 15, 2021)

The joint statement came a week after the Delta Hospice Society board sent layoff notices to all clinical staff at the hospice.

The board said in a news release Jan. 8 that it deeply regrets “being compelled” to take the action due to Fraser Health cancelling its contract over its refusal to comply with a provincial policy requiring hospices to provide MAiD.

In a public letter dated Jan. 21, the board said it had notified Fraser Health that the society “will evacuate the Irene Thomas Hospice facility by the required date so there will be no disruption in patient care.”

The letter explains hospice employees were given the notices in anticipation of Fraser Health becoming their new employer.

“The society board has urged Fraser Health staff to work with Delta Hospice staff immediately to transition the operations of the Irene Thomas Hospice to Fraser Health so that no transfer of patients will be required due to the transition,” the letter states.

“The board is hopeful there will be no disruption in service, no need to transfer patients, and no need to absorb existing employees elsewhere in Fraser Health.”

Moving forward, the board says the society will continue to exist and is remains committed to the purposes described in its constitution.

“The society will continue to be a strong advocate for palliative care and will continue to offer supportive care at no cost to patients, family members and caregivers,” the letter states.

“It will work to fund, at no cost to the health-care system, education and certification for nursing palliative care, comfort measures for patients and complementary therapies.

“It will maintain its hospice volunteer program and will continue to provide grief and loss counselling and support groups for adults, youth, and children who have experienced the tragedy of anticipated or sudden traumatic death.”



editor@northdeltareporter.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Delta

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey Police Service cruiser. (File photo)
Surrey Police Service, CUPE sign staff transfer agreement from RCMP to new force

Chief Constable says there will be ‘no disruption’ to police service during transfer

SkyTrain running through Whalley. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Mayors’ Council wants feds to fund Surrey-Langley SkyTrain in upcoming budget

Mayors’ Council on regional transportation sent letter to federal government Monday

Premier John Horgan with drawings of replacement bridge for the Pattullo during a February 2018 presser. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Surrey city staff want to act on council’s behalf for ‘minor’ changes to new Pattullo

The old bridge’s replacement is expected to be open for traffic in the fall of 2023

Spring Break kits available for free at Surrey Libraries branches. (submitted photo)
Free ‘Spring Break Kits’ for kids at Surrey Libraries

Children don’t need a library card to get a kit, but can sign up for one for free

An immunizer prepares to deliver a COVID-19 vaccine at a Fraser Health drive-thru vaccination site. (Fraser Health Authority photo)
North Delta COVID-19 vaccination clinic to open ‘in the coming weeks’

Clinic next to Delta City Hall opens March 15 for seniors 90+, Indigenous people 65+, Indigenous Elders

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

Montreal Canadiens right wing Paul Byron (41) fights for control of the puck with Vancouver Canucks defenceman Quinn Hughes (43) during first period NHL action in Vancouver, Monday, March 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Captain Clutch: Horvat nets shootout winner as Canucks edge Habs 2-1

Vancouver, Montreal tangle again on Wednesday

A special committee has been appointed to look at reforming B.C.’s police act and is inviting the public to make submissions until April 30, 2021. (Black Press media file)
Have thoughts on B.C.’s review of the provincial Police Act?

Submissions will be accepted until April 30

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Cottonwoods Care Home in Kelowna. (Google Maps)
New COVID-19 outbreak at Kelowna care home includes fully vaccinated seniors: Henry

Two staff and 10 residents tested positive at Cottonwoods Care Centre

Excerpts from a conversation between Bria Fisher and the fake truLOCAL job. Fisher had signed a job agreement and was prepared to start work for what she thought was truLOCAL before she learned it was a scam. (Contributed)
B.C. woman warning others after losing $3,000 in job scam

Bria Fisher was hired by what she thought was a Canadian company, only to be out thousands

Some of the hundreds of pounds of trash removed by divers last month from Abbotsford’s Walmsley Lake.(Henry Wang photo)
VIDEO: Divers remove 462 pounds of trash from Abbotsford lake

Walmsley Lake dive uncovers several tires, hundreds of drink containers and a tent

Trent Miner is returning to the Vancouver Giants, the team announced. He has been released by the Colorado Eagles of the AHL.(Rik Fedyck/Vancouver Giants)
Trent Miner returns to play goal for Vancouver Giants

Netminder was part of epic 11-game winning-streak by Langley-based team

Most Read