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Patient Population & Services

Across BC, thousands of children require specialized health-care supports due to health complexity. The Slocan centre will help meet these children’s needs.

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Through this redevelopment, BC Children's Hospital and the Provincial Health Services Authority will deliver a first-of-its-kind centre in Canada, to support these children and their families. 

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Due to advances in health care and technology, more children with health complexity are living into adulthood than ever before. Throughout their lives, these children and youth, and their families and caregivers, will require ongoing engagement with the health-care system and social services sector to help them function.

Children and youth living with health complexity:
  • have a complex, chronic condition 
  • experience difficulties performing daily activities and participating in typical childhood activities without significant modification/adaptation 
  • have significant caregiving requirements
  • frequently use the health-care and social systems.  

Chronic and behavioural conditions

Complex, chronic conditions may be conditions that a child was born with or the result of a traumatic or sudden event. Many conditions are rare, can be hard to diagnose, and can include additional complications that affect all aspects of the child's daily life such as seizures, loss of sight or hearing, developmental delays, or mental health challenges.


Functional limitations

These children and youth experience difficulties performing daily activities and participating in typical childhood activities. Many of these children/youth need assistive technology and/or environmental adaptation. 

Significant family need

Children with complex health-care needs are often dependent on medications, technologies, and specialized devices (e.g., ventilators, feeding tubes, mobility devices). Their day-to-day care therefore requires their parent or caregiver to hold specialized knowledge and skills. The social determinants of health also impact family need.

Frequent use of health-care and social systems

In addition to their primary caregivers, these children need multiple subspecialists, health-care providers, and a range of other professionals (e.g., school counsellors, social workers) to be involved in their care. 

Care navigation and coordination

Families find it challenging to navigate the various supports that their children need. Existing services are spread out across the health-care and social systems, other government ministries, and community organizations. 

The complexity of the current environment, along with the limited coordination between different organizations, results in gaps in services and care provider expertise. Families are asking for care coordination, a shared care plan, and support for the whole family.

Training for caregivers and care providers

Not all communities across BC are equipped to care for children with health complexity.  There is a need to build capacity across BC by training care providers to look after these children close to home.

Patient-centred care

The new services are being designed with extensive input from patients, families and caregivers, clinical staff, subject matter experts, Indigenous partners, and various stakeholders who work with this population. If you would like to be involved in future engagement around clinical service design, please visit our Engagement page.

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The model of care proposed for the Slocan site will be grouped into four key services to be delivered in person or virtually. 


Referral, intake, and assessment

This service will work with families and caregivers to determine the appropriate level of support and resources for each child.

Care coordination/key worker

Families will be assigned a single point of contact who will provide care coordination through a shared care plan.

Teaching, education, research and innovation

Families/caregivers and community care providers will receive comprehensive teaching and training in their child's care. Patient-centred research and innovation will further our understanding of child health, improve care and quality of life, and optimize well-being.

Staying services

On-site patient rooms will allow children and their families to stay in a home-like environment while learning new care techniques, adjusting to new equipment, or transitioning between the hospital and the home. 
 
The Slocan program is envisioned with the following goals in mind.

Be a truly province-wide service

Support all children and youth living with health complexity no matter where they live in BC or Yukon by providing services both virtually and on site. 


Build capacity in communities 

Comprehensively support children and youth close to home by training and supporting care providers across BC and Yukon; this in turn will minimize unnecessary acute care episodes and travel. 

Ease transitions 

Ease transitions between hospital and home, through changes in equipment and needs, and through key developmental stages including transition to adulthood, by training, educating and supporting families/caregivers and community care providers in the child’s home community.

Provide cultural safety

Provide culturally safe and tailored care inclusive of Indigenous health and wellness practices, in collaboration with Indigenous children and families.

Be inclusive and accessible

Be universally inclusive and accessible to all through effective building design.

Support the whole family

Provide care and support for the whole family–patients, parents, caregivers, and siblings –recognizing that a child’s health depends on the health of the entire family unit. 


Foster innovation

Work with research, education, clinical services, and  patients/families/ caregivers to ensure the ongoing implementation of quality improvement, best practices, and further innovation in the care of children and youth living with health complexity.


Create partnerships 

Create partnerships across the health-care system (both with acute and community care), and social services sector in BC and Yukon, including health authorities, community care providers, non-profit organizations, private agencies, the Ministry of Children and Family Development and other government ministries, and educational partners. 


The Slocan program is envisioned with the following goals in mind.

Be a truly province-wide service

Support all children and youth living with health complexity no matter where they live in BC or Yukon by providing services both virtually and on site. 

Build capacity in communities 

Comprehensively support children and youth close to home by training and supporting care providers across BC and Yukon; this in turn will minimize unnecessary acute care episodes and travel. 

Ease transitions 

Ease transitions between hospital and home, through changes in equipment and needs, and through key developmental stages including transition to adulthood, by training, educating and supporting families/caregivers and community care providers in the child’s home community.

Provide cultural safety

Provide culturally safe and tailored care inclusive of Indigenous health and wellness practices, in collaboration with Indigenous children and families.

Be inclusive and accessible

Be universally inclusive and accessible to all through effective building design.

Support the whole family

Provide care and support for the whole family–patients, parents, caregivers, and siblings –recognizing that a child’s health depends on the health of the entire family unit. 

Foster innovation

Work with research, education, clinical services, and  patients/families/ caregivers to ensure the ongoing implementation of quality improvement, best practices, and further innovation in the care of children and youth living with health complexity.

Create partnerships 

Create partnerships across the health-care system (both with acute and community care), and social services sector in BC and Yukon, including health authorities, community care providers, non-profit organizations, private agencies, the Ministry of Children and Family Development and other government ministries, and educational partners. 

SOURCE: Patient Population & Services ( )
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