In February 2010, Saskatoon Health Region announced the hiring of the Children's Hospital of Saskatchewan (CHS) project manager. ZW Group, based out of Ottawa, would oversee the design and construction of the province's new children's hospital.
At the same time, Saskatoon Health Region announced it would take three months to validate the site as part of the planning process. This was in response to significant discussion in the community on whether or not building a new $200 million dollar facility co-located with Royal University Hospital (RUH) made the most sense.
In April 2010, members of the Children's Hospital of Saskatchewan (CHS) Site Validation Panel began meeting to begin validating the site for the new hospital. Members of the panel include the public, representatives from industry, the Health Region, Saskatoon Regional Health Authority, University of Saskatchewan and Ministry of Health.
Also, throughout late winter and spring 2010, through a rigorous proposal process, a number of consultants were hired including Saskatoon's Henry, Downing, Howlett Architects in association with ZGF Architects LLP, and BTY Group as the project's cost management consultant.
In June 2010, the site validation panel brought forwards its recommendation that Royal University Hospital (RUH) and was approved by the Saskatoon Regional Health Authority (SRHA) as the preferred location. There was unanimous support for the recommendation from the CHS site validation panel.
The panel reviewed four options, scoring each of them independently against a pre-established set of criteria, some of which included quality, patient safety, and capital and operating costs. External experts were brought in to assist in the panel's deliberations. Members of the public were also invited to share their thoughts on what they thought was most important in determining the site of the new hospital through the panel's website. A total of 115 submissions were received and the site received more than 8,500 unique views.
Out of the four options the panel reviewed, the Royal University Hospital option ranked highest on 8 of 10 criteria. It was also deemed to be the safest location and the one that could provide the best patient experience that will have the least amount of disruption to patients and staff. The RUH option was also the least expensive. In essence, the RUH option will provide all of what is needed need for a new children's.
At the same time, one of the recommendations from the site validation process was that parking be addressed as a priority for the new hospital, regardless of its location. One of the first orders of business after the validation process was to undertake an RUH parking study and develop a business case from that study. (Click here to see and listen to the discussion by SRHA on the recommendation.)
In July 2010, the University of Saskatchewan's Board of Governors gave preliminary approval to Royal University Hospital as the location of the Children's Hospital of Saskatchewan. This decision set the stage for Saskatoon Health Region to begin the design phase of the project. (News Release - University of Saskatchewan, July 30, 2010)
Saskatoon Health Region proceeded to finalize the new hospital's functional program. The original functional program created in 2007 underwent final examination with the hiring of the prime architect and project managers. The bed numbers were re-examined with updated population projections to ensure the most up-to-date information was being approved.
In September 2010, the provincial government re-affirmed its commitment to funding the project through a $200 million cheque presentation. (News Release - Office of the Premier, September 16, 2010). The cheque presentation was an important milestone for the project. But even more significant was the work that was now underway to create the hospital.
In September 2010, the project team started the design phase of the project. The team began working with staff and physicians to create the initial designs.This involved design sessions with 15 groups and more than 200 people. Each session results in the architects getting valuable feedback, evolving and improving early work and returning back to the groups for further review.
Also, in parallel to these early design sessions, the team along with staff and physicians began looking at how care is delivered today and how it could be delivered in the new facility. They started walking through the patient's experience from the moment they enter the hospital to the moment they leave. They began challenging themselves by asking, "How can we make that experience better?"
While all this work was going on, in November 2010, another important milestone was reached.Saskatoon Regional Health Authority at its monthly meeting unanimously passed a motion approving the functional program and the amendment for the new Children's Hospital of Saskatchewan. The amendment came out of the review work done throughout late summer and fall.
The functional program describes the services to be provided in the Children's Hospital of Saskatchewan and the service's associated space. Also, by revisiting the 2007 program, project planners made amendments to it that will better meet the health care needs of a growing population of 2015 and beyond with the addition of 15 more beds. The inclusion of these services and special rooms results in a total of 164 beds for the new hospital within a building that will encompass 27,033m2.