Timmins, ON – The Timmins and District Hospital (TADH) is pleased to share the Year One Summary of the Safe Health Site Timmins (SHST) operations. SHST, an urgent public health needs site opened its doors for the first time on Monday, July 4th, 2022 and operates seven days a week between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. The site currently employs nurses, harm reduction and patient engagement & safety liaison workers. A copy of the infographic can be found here.
In 2020, the Porcupine Health Unit area had the second highest opioid-related death rate in Ontario. The majority of these deaths occurred in Timmins, which held an opioid-related death rate of 75.3 per 100,000, significantly higher than the provincial rate of 17.3 per 100,000. In 2021, that preliminary rate in Timmins rose to 80.2 per 100,000, significantly higher than the provincial rate of 19.6 per 100,000. Through the implementation and growth of evidence-based programs and services across the care continuum, supporting our comprehensive community drug strategy, Timmins saw a significant reduction in the preliminary rate of opioid-related deaths in 2022, going from 80.2 per 100,000 to 53.5 per 100,000.
We are pleased to share some of the key highlights from the first year of operations, including:
- The SHST saw a total of 24,168 visits, with 12,572 visits for supervised consumption from 366 unique individuals between July 4th, 2022 and June 30th, 2023. A diverse group of individuals continue to access the SHST, including individuals those with fixed addresses and those who hold fulltime employment. The SHST continues to be one important door that people can walk through to access our health care system, including withdrawal management and treatment services.
- 52 per cent of visits were to consume pre-obtained substances.
- 48 per cent of visits were requests to connect with our care system through the Harm Reduction Clinic.
- The staff at SHST intervened in 130 overdoses with no fatalities.
- Through early intervention and a team of highly trained staff, only nine (or seven per cent) of overdoses that occurred at SHST required the services of EMS, saving tax dollars and freeing up first responders in our community.
- Facilitated 114 referrals, including:
- 19 direct admissions to the Withdrawal Management Program at TADH.
- Administration of eight doses of Sublocade at SHST.
- Approximately ten per cent of individuals who accessed SHST requested and were referred to addiction services.
- Approximately 11 per cent of individuals who accessed SHST requested and were referred to other social services (including food security, housing or training and employment).
- Provision of support services including:
- A total of 732 brief counselling sessions at SHST.
- A total of 245 instances of basic medical care, including wound care/would management, helping divert clients from the Emergency Department.
In late June 2022, TADH received notification from Health Canada that a federal exemption under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act was granted, allowing the SHST to begin operation. Urgent public health needs sites, or supervised consumption sites, are locations where individuals can consume their pre-obtained substances under the supervision of trained staff. Individuals accessing services at the SHST will be provided with safer substance use equipment including sterile supplies. Not just a space to consume substances, the SHST will also support referring clients to essential services like wound care, detoxification and treatment, housing, mental health and employment supports.
As an urgent public health needs site, the SHST is a temporary site. In late January 2023 the application for a permanent, provincially funded Supervised Consumption and Treatment Site (SCS) was submitted and awaits approval. Additional information related to the SCS application process can be found here. More information about opioid-related overdoses and opioid-related overdose deaths can be found using the Public Health Ontario’s Interactive Opioid tool.
SHST is a collaboration of the Timmins and Area Drug Strategy Steering Committee. The committee represents more than 20 community partners from local agencies, including health and social services, as well as public and emergency response services. SHST is just one initiative of the larger, comprehensive community drug strategy. As the operator, TADH is responsible for the day-to-day operations. For more information on the SHST please visit www.shst.ca.
The Timmins and District Hospital (TADH) is a fully accredited community, referral and teaching hospital serving the residents of the City of Timmins and Cochrane District as well as the adjoining areas of the Timiskaming, Sudbury and Algoma districts. The hospital offers a full range of medical, surgical, critical care, maternity, newborn, pediatric, long-term care, mental health and diagnostic imaging services.
For more information please contact:
Timmins and District Hospital
705-267-2131 Ext. 2409