Frequently Asked QuestioNS

How did we get to this point?

August 14, 2018

Windsor City Council and the Planning Heritage and Economic Development Standing Committee voted to approve the hospital’s zoning applications.

December 1, 2017

Minister Eric Hoskins announces that planning for the new Windsor-Essex Hospitals System is moving forward.

November 6, 2017

Infrastructure Ontario appointed to lead the procurement process for construction of the new hospital. A Request for Qualifications (RFQ) is scheduled to be issued in 2021, subject to change.

April 27, 2017

The Ontario Government and Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care gave the green light for the Windsor-Essex Hospitals System proposal to move forward in the planning process.

August, 2016

Windsor Regional Hospital submitted an application to the City of Windsor, requesting an amendment to the city’s Official Plan and Zoning By-laws.

April 25, 2016

Windsor City Council votes (9-1) to approve a levy to cover the city’s share of the project. The city’s share is $108.5 million or 54% of the $200 million local share.

April 20, 2016

Essex County Council votes unanimously to approve a levy to cover the county’s share of the new Windsor-Essex Hospitals System. In doing so, the county commits to approximately $91.5 million, or 46% of the local share.

July 16, 2015

The proposed Windsor-Essex Hospitals System was released. This includes plans and a location for the new hospital. This information was submitted to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care as part of the Stage 1B proposal.

October 1, 2014

The Request for Proposals (RFP) closed. More than 20 parcels of land in the region were submitted for consideration.

July 23, 2014

A Request for Proposals (RFP) was issued, inviting those with property they think is suitable for the new hospital to submit proposals.

May 30, 2014

The Steering Committee overseeing plans for a new acute care hospital announced the creation of the Site Selection Subcommittee – 11 volunteer members From Windsor-Essex who will review proposals and recommend a location for the new hospital.

February 28, 2014

The Honourable Teresa Piruzza, MPP, Windsor West and Minister of Children and Youth Services and the Minister responsible for Women's Issues announced approval for the Hospitals to complete Stage 1 planning for a new state-of-the-art acute care hospital.

November 26, 2013

The Erie St. Clair LHIN board approved the Stage 1A report at a board meeting in Petrolia, Ontario.

October 29, 2013

The Capital Planning Steering Committee shared its final report with the HDGH and WRH Boards of Directors. HDGH and WRH Boards of Directors voted unanimously to approve the Stage 1, Part A, Service Delivery Model.

October 1, 2013

As part of the realignment, WRH assumed governance and operations of all acute services at the Met and Ouellette Campuses and for the new acute care hospital. HDGH assumed governance and operations of chronic care, regional rehabilitation, specialized mental health and addictions, and children’s mental health at the Tayfour campus.

May 29, 2013

ESC LHIN established a Capital Planning Steering Committee to prepare the stage 1A submission to the government.

March 26, 2013

The Erie St. Clair LHIN approved the voluntary realignment of services between HDGH and WRH.

February 12, 2013

HDGH and WRH Boards of Directors announced a jointly agreed upon, proposed new vision for Windsor/Essex. It included the realignment of services.

January 2013

Finance Minister Dwight Duncan announced funding for hospitals to proceed with Phase 1 planning for a new state-of-the-art acute care facility. This included $2.5 million to prepare an initial 1A submission to government; an additional $35 million would flow for further planning upon completion and Ministry approval of the 1A submission.

November 30, 2012

After months of community engagement, The Windsor Hospital’s Study Task Force released a final report recommending the province "proceed immediately in approving the planning and construction of a new single site" for the Windsor Essex region.

April 21, 2012

Finance Minister Dwight Duncan created the Windsor Hospital’s Study Task Force to examine the possibility and need for a new regional acute care hospital to replace current facilities..

What is the timeline?

Planning for the Windsor-Essex Hospitals System is a 5-stage process. The Program and Services Steering Committee has submitted a proposal for Stage 1A & 1B – The Master Plan - to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) and has received approval to move forward with planning. For more information, including the Stage 1A and 1B reports.

Moving through the next stages in planning could take between 7 and 10 years.


Timeline Graphic

What is Stage 1A?

Stage 1A is the initial step in the planning for a new state-of-the-art acute care hospital. The report provides an overall building block of a strategic plan looking at what clinical and support services will be provided, the volume of these services and the space required to provide these services. It is a foundation for the hospital’s long-range capital plan outlining how services will be delivered in the future, preliminary operating costs and human resources and bed requirements. Stage 1A was completed and submitted to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care in November, 2013. In February, 2013, The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care allowed the committee to proceed to Stage 1B.

What role did the community play in Stage 1A?

More than 150 medical experts and community members were directly involved in the creation of the Phase 1A report. Through a series of discussions called change tables, participants determined what health care services currently exist, what services are needed, and which ones need to be enhanced. The groups focused on 12 areas of service including Mental Health and Addictions, Cardiac services, the Emergency Program and Cancer services. Group members developed a vision for how these services can be delivered in the future and came up with innovative ways to deliver some services outside of the hospital. Participants also discussed the possible implications these changes could have on community health service providers.

What is Stage 1B?

Stage 1B, or the "Master Plan," builds on the work completed in Stage 1A, and includes more specific details about plans for a site, services and finances. Stage 1B has been submitted to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care for review and evaluation. Ministry approval is required before proceeding to the next stage of planning.

Highlights of Stage 1B:

  • Site selection process resulting in a designated site
  • Architectural master plans
  • Implementation plan and schedule
  • High level funding/financing plan including the determination of the local share component
  • A detailed analysis of what services will be located at which locations including the new acute care hospital and other community locations
  • A plan outlining the future use of existing facilities.

What role did the community play in Stage 1B?

The community had several opportunities to participate in this stage:
  • The Co-Chairs of the Steering Committee have hosted two live Town Hall Broadcasts on AM800 where they answered questions from callers about the project.
  • The Steering Committee overseeing the planning of a new state-of-the-art hospital put out a request for individuals to sit on the Site Selection Subcommittee. Close to 80 applications were submitted. From that pool 5 people were selected to sit on the subcommittee along with 6 other volunteers who are current or past Windsor Regional Hospital board members.
  • The criteria used to select a site for the new hospital was posted online for the public to review and provide feedback. Close to 600 people responded providing feedback on the criteria that was used to revise the final version of the criteria list.
  • More than 25 presentations were held with different community groups, many of them were open to the public. Participants had an opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback.

What are the next stages?

Stage 2: Develop a “Functional Program.” This will be a very detailed description of the programs to be delivered, the workload associated with those programs, and the staffing, major equipment and space required.

Stage 3: Building on the first two stages, the vision designed in Stage 2 is translated into project specific output specifications. A Project Design and Compliance Team is chosen to work with the hospital in reviewing the project output specifications and then developing a block schematic report and a sketch plan report.

Stage 4: The hospital, MOHLTC and Infrastructure Ontario go to the market and request project companies to submit their qualifications to undertake the final design and construction of the project. Companies deemed qualified will be requested to submit proposals to complete the project. The hospital and Infrastructure Ontario will choose a company to complete the project.

What is a Community Capacity Plan?

Under the direction of the Erie St. Clair LHIN, a separate Steering Committee is working on a Community Capacity Plan (CCP) which includes a vision of future service delivery. The CCP Steering Committee is co-chaired by the CEO of the Alzheimer Society of Windsor and Essex County, Sally Bennette Olczak and the CEO of the Erie St. Clair CCAC, Lori Marshall.

The CPP exercise will determine what community supports are in place, needed or need to be enhanced to support the hospital health care services of Windsor-Essex. This is taking place at the same time as planning for the new acute care hospital, to ensure all neighbourhoods and communities have appropriate access to programs and services. With the direct support of community health care providers and under the direction of the ESC LHIN, some services and procedures will move into the community – closer to users – offering a better patient experience by providing the right care, in the right location, by the right provider. The CCP will delineate a plan for any service changes from hospital into the community, while ensuring the community’s needs are met.

How does the capital planning process work?

For more on the capital planning process, view the MOHLTC-LHIN Joint Review Framework for Early Capital Planning Stages Toolkit.

Why do we need funding for hospital infrastructure?

  • The current facilities do not have adequate space to accommodate new and emerging health care technology and current standards of care.
  • The current hospitals are outdated, undersized and cannot accommodate current patient volumes or future service needs. The medical/surgical floors and emergency departments are less than half the size they should be using current standards which results in smaller patient rooms, cramped hallways and limited capacity for storage. 
  • The current facilities make infection control challenging. Eighty percent of rooms in new Ontario hospitals must be designed for single patients to limit the spread of infections. Right now only 29% of rooms at WRH’s Met Campus and 16 % of the rooms at the Ouellette Campus are private. 
  • The current facilities do not support the needs of the Schulich Medical School. 
  • With more modern facilities, we will be in an even better position to recruit and retain top physicians, front line staff and medical leaders, and in turn advance the practices and services available to patients. 
  • The Ouellette Campus is the site of the trauma centre, but air ambulances cannot land there, mostly due to flight patterns and because it was not designed to withstand the weight of a helicopter landing.

Why do we need a new hospital?

  • Hundreds of millions of dollars will be required to redevelop existing infrastructure. Building a single site acute care facility is less costly than renovating the existing facilities. 
  • Acute care services are divided between two medium sized hospitals resulting in the fragmentation of services and ongoing challenges with patient transfers and patient flow across two sites. In addition, there are accessibility issues for patients, visitors and staff due to “land locked” locations and limited parking. 
  • We have to remember this facility will not be built tomorrow. It will take 7-10 years to complete the planning and construction. In the meantime, our current facilities will continue to become more and more antiquated compared to new hospital standards. We are planning for the future. Not only 7-10 years from now but 20, 30, 40 and 50 years from now.
  • We don’t just need a new hospital, we DESERVE a new hospital. This is an opportunity to upgrade to a state-of-the-art facility so patients, staff and the community can experience the benefits those in other municipalities already enjoy.

Should we not take the monies for the capital project and use it for current hospital operations instead?

  • Using one-time capital dollars for ongoing annual operating services is short sighted. The location, provision, manner and delivery of health care services are evolving and will continue to evolve. For our community, we will continue to fall behind this evolution by operating out of antiquated and insufficient facilities.
  • If we want to retain, enhance and be on the leading edge of healthcare delivery, we need the infrastructure to be at a level that allows us to achieve those goals. 
  • Doing nothing is not an option – significant investments would be required to renovate and upgrade current facilities and leave us with the current inadequate footprint and landlocked properties. 
  • This is not to say we will not continue to have operating challenges. That will not go away no matter what we do. However, by having a state-of-the-art facility to operate from our health care employees, we will have a better ability to address these challenges without physical infrastructure limiting our ability.

What are the benefits of interim hospital realignment?

On October 1, 2013 WRH assumed governance and operations of all acute services at the Met and Ouellette Campuses and for the new acute care hospital. HDGH assumed governance and operations of chronic care, regional rehabilitation, specialized mental health and addictions, and children’s mental health at the Tayfour campus. Realigning all acute services under one organization even before moving to one site makes it possible to:
  • Optimize capacity across both sites
  • Re-balance activity across both sites
  • Explore operating efficiencies with a higher critical mass of activity
  • Improve coordination and consistency in service delivery
  • Adopt a consistent city-wide approach to patient quality and safety
  • Qualify for increased cancer funding
  • Establish a single professional (medical/dental/midwives) staff structure
  • Commence the detailed planning required before the eventual move to a new single acute care site
  • Allow for administration and professional staff to make day-to-day operational decisions and Boards to govern with a vision to the future
  • Facilitate best practices and models of care and standardization of both clinical and non-clinical processes and practices that have been shown to optimize the efficiency of acute care services
  • Create a single unified professional staff, unified medical departments and a single Medical Advisory Committee (MAC) that should facilitate improved inter-site access to clinical consultation and clinical technologies
  • Explore opportunities for improved operating efficiency through economies of scale in administrative and support services.

What about Emergency Department (ED) access? Aren’t we going from two ED’s doors to one?

  • A new ED would be built and staffed for high volumes with at least the same number of physicians and other health care professionals that currently work in our two existing acute care hospitals combined.
  • The new facility will be more efficient with separate emergency areas designed specifically to meet the needs of adult, geriatric and pediatric patients.
  • We will be building a state-of-the art ED that will be resourced accordingly to the anticipated need. A new ED would handle the emergency needs of our community; an overall new system plan would be required to accommodate care for patients who do not need to attend the ED for their care and can receive care more quickly elsewhere in the community. That’s why the Community Capacity Plan being developed by the ESC LHIN is so important.
  • The construction of an urgent care centre, run by Windsor Regional Hospital, is included in the proposed plan. The facility would be located at the former Grace Hospital site and would be available to patients with less severe conditions. Forty percent of patients who currently use Windsor Regional Hospital emergency departments could be treated in an urgent care centre. These centres are currently being used in other parts of the province to ease pressure and reduce wait times in hospital emergency departments. 
  • EMS transport planning must be part of future discussion.

What is included in this plan to address the needs of patients in the city's core?

  • Under the new direction in health care, which sees more services available in the community, we are confident that our community partners and the LHIN will be able to resource those services accordingly. This is part of the Community Capacity Plan that the ESC LHIN will be leading locally. It will not just focus on what is needed downtown, but other areas of the City and County.
  • An urgent care centre and satellite facility at the former Grace Hospital site is included in the proposed plan to address the needs of those with non-life-threatening, less severe conditions.
  • Once the new hospital is built, the proposal also calls for Hotel Dieu Grace Hospital to return to the Ouellette Campus. There it will continue with its traditional role of serving the region’s most marginalized, disenfranchised and vulnerable populations. The site will be redeveloped to support outpatient mental health services. HDGH will also offer Chronic Disease Management.

Why not build a hospital with more beds? The early projections suggest little change in the number of total acute care beds.

  • The total number of beds in the new hospital will be consistent with the existing number of beds, with the capacity to increase to meet future demands. 
  • Keep in mind that the new bed projections include a 50 per cent reduction in beds occupied by ALC (Alternate Level of Care) patients. With this reduction, effectively we are creating new acute care beds. This can be achieved through more home care and community-based health services outside of a hospital. The ESC LHIN is conducting a Community Capacity Plan which will help identify what services are needed, and where.
  • As we move forward with this planning, these numbers are subject to refinement depending on the details addressed in Stage 1B and 2.

What kind of pressures will the realigning of services put on other health community partners?

  • The LHIN is continuing to work with community partners to strengthen relationships, and develop an integrated approach to service delivery. It will not happen overnight and will not happen without consultation with all involved parties. The LHIN is currently in the process of designing a Community Capacity Plan to address these concerns and help guide the process.

Where will the new hospital be located?

  • A 60-acre property at the corner of County Rd. 42 and the 9th Concession is the recommended site for the new hospital. 
  • Here is more information about the Site Selection Process.

What will happen to the existing facilities?

  • Funding for the future use of both the Met and Ouellette campuses is included in the budget for this project. There will also be an alternative funded plan if necessary. 
  • Under the proposal, Windsor Regional Hospital will transfer a "clean" site at the Met Campus in exchange for the former Grace Hospital site at the corner of University Ave. and Crawford Ave. 
  • The proposal calls for Hotel Dieu Grace Hospital to return to the Ouellette Campus. There it will continue with its traditional role of serving the region’s most marginalized, disenfranchised and vulnerable populations. The site will be redeveloped to support outpatient mental health services. HDGH will also offer Chronic Disease Management.

What's next?

  • The Erie St. Clair LHIN will now work with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care to review and evaluate the Stage 1B proposal. Ministry approval is required before proceeding with the plan.
  • In the meantime, Windsor Regional Hospital is working on a standardization and optimization process. This will look at how things are currently done in all departments at both campuses, examining current processes, looking at who does it best in the world and implementing those practices at both campuses if not already being practiced currently. This will ensure a consistent outstanding patient experience regardless of where patients receive care. Standardizing care will also result in the best practices deciding the design of the new state-of-the-art hospital and make the eventual transition into a new facility easier for all hospital staff and health care professionals. 
  • The LHIN is continuing to develop a Community Capacity Plan looking at which services should be offered in the community instead of inside a hospital.

How can I get involved and add my voice to the discussion?

Throughout the process there will be many opportunities for the community to provide input and feedback.
To find out about future opportunities, and receive updates on planning for the new acute care hospital, add your name to sign up for our email list.

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