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Complex-care centre for young people moves forward

May 17, 2023 at 3:35 pm  BC, News, Politics, Provincial

A new centre for children and youth living with complex health-care needs is a step closer with the issuing of the request for qualifications (RFQ).

“Our government made a commitment to people in B.C. to ensure their lives are full and thriving, regardless of the complexity of their health-care needs,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “A request for qualifications moves this project closer to completion of a facility that will help children with complex care needs live their fullest life.”

Through the RFQ process, the Provincial Health Services Authority will identify a short list of as many as three qualified proponents that will be invited to participate in the next step of the competitive selection process, the request for proposal (RFP) stage. That will determine which proponent will be chosen to lead the design and construction of the project.

The RFQ process is expected to be finalized this fall, followed by the RFP process. Construction is expected to start in 2025.

The centre will be for young people living with complex, chronic conditions who have difficulty performing routine daily and typical activities without assistance; have significant caregiving requirements; and frequently use the provincial health-care and social systems.

The centre will support children, families, caregivers and health-care providers through care co-ordination, training and education. These services, offered online and in person, mean that no matter where a child lives, specialized and responsive support is available when needed. Families that need extra support will be able to stay in suites at the centre overnight when adjusting to transitions, such as going from the hospital to home, starting at a new school or transitioning to adult care.

The building design offers innovative, accessible spaces, such as a feature ramp, an all-Nations space and Indigenous healing garden and a wellness walk through the mature grove of trees, as well as therapy rooms, recreation spaces, a dining area and a teaching kitchen to support wellness, learning and community building for families.

The centre will be at the former site of the Sunny Hill Health Centre in East Vancouver, which was relocated to the main campus of BC Children’s Hospital and BC Women’s Hospital + Health Centre in August 2020. There will be close links between the services provided at the new site and those provided at the BC Children’s Hospital campus on Oak Street. The new services will not replicate the acute services provided at BC Children’s Hospital.

The estimated cost of the project is $221.8 million, funded with a $20-million contribution from the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation, $8.9 million from the City of Vancouver for the child daycare centre, and the balance from the Province through the Provincial Health Services Authority.

A 74-space child care centre will also be built on the site, which will be operated independently from the complex-care centre. The City of Vancouver is contributing half of the cost of the child care centre.

Quick Facts:

  • As of 2018, there were approximately 7,800 children with health complexity who accessed services at BC Children’s Hospital, of which 20% lived outside the Lower Mainland.
  • It is estimated that by 2035, more than 9,000 children and young people living with health complexity will require the type of support the complex-care centre will offer.
  • The term, children and youth living with health complexity, was chosen to describe this population of children and youth because the term is less medicalized and prioritizes how a child can live with their health complexity.

A backgrounder follows.

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