Private room at Bluewater Health's new temporary residential withdrawal management facility in Sarnia. January 12, 2018 (Photo by Melanie Irwin)

Potential Withdrawal Management Sites Shortlisted To Three

Bluewater Health’s list of potential sites for a long-planned residential withdrawal management facility has been narrowed to three choices.

Vice-President of Mental Health and Addictions Paula Reaume-Zimmer says they can’t identify the locations yet but they’re all within the city of Sarnia.

“It’s still a competitive process, so it is still a confidential process,” says Reaume-Zimmer. “We’re targeting the end of March to identify the preferred site.”

Reaume-Zimmer says they will now send out a request for proposals to get more detailed information on the shortlisted sites.

She says they have developed scorecard criteria that include the site having “some proximity” to the hospital.

“Not necessarily right next door it has to be, but certainly the emergency department often refers individuals to the residential withdrawal management beds so we would like to have some type of close enough relationship so that’s not a barrier for individuals receiving care,” says Reaume-Zimmer.

She says they’re still working on their final funding submission to the health ministry for a 24-bed facility that’s expected to cost $8.8-million.

A temporary seven-bed unit, in operation at the Sarnia hospital since mid-January, has provided services to nearly 40 individuals with demand increasing as community awareness spreads.