Chatham-Kent Health Alliance (File Photo)

Chatham-Kent Health Alliance will be temporarily reducing its ambulatory care services to better support inpatient units.

CKHA said in a news release Friday the reduction will start at both the Chatham and Wallageburg sites Monday until further notice.

This will allow ambulatory care staff to help in non-outbreak units and maintain capacity for delivering inpatient care at both hospital sites.

Currently two CKHA inpatient units are experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks.

Starting Monday, service levels will be reduced across all ambulatory care clinics with exceptions for those requiring emergency care, those patients will be closely monitored by the hospital team, CKHA says.

Ambulatory oncology and dialysis clinics will also remain unchanged and care clinics at the Wallaceburg site will be consolidated with the Chatham site to “better meet staffing needs.”

There will be no changes to the Wallaceburg ambulatory care Victoria Order of Nurses clinics with the reductions, CKHA notes. Patients will be contacted by their doctor’s office if scheduled appointments are impacted.

“In response to the COVID-19 outbreaks recently declared on CKHA’s COVID-19 Unit and Medicine A/B Unit, extra safety precautions such as cohorting staff and staff isolation requirements as per Chatham-Kent Public Health guidelines have affected staffing levels across the organization,” the hospital says. “CKHA continues to rely on the best available evidence and practices across the region to ensure we make the work conditions for those redeployed respectful and supportive.”

CKHA says the hospital remains a safe place to receive care and in the event of an emergency reminds the community to not hesitate to visit the emergency department or call 911.