Five years from now, the biggest moving day in the history of St. Paul’s Hospital will happen. And it’s not just staff, medical staff and some patients who will make the move. About 30% of the medical equipment will be brought over from the existing hospital, too.

A $2 billion project budget doesn’t mean we have endless pockets. It takes a lot of money to build an 11-storey hospital. And, it wouldn’t be a good use of taxpayer dollars or be environmentally responsible to throw away perfectly good equipment that’s easy to move with us.

The Equipment team for the New St. Paul’s Hospital and Health Campus Project has to ​balance a hospital equipment list of over 45,000 items, with a clinical equipment budget of around $190 million. This means making tough decisions about what absolutely needs to be brand new.​

What equipment will be bought? (The 70%)

The Equipment Team has four priority areas for how it will spend its budget:

Equipment which has to be built in or anchored to the new hospital’s infrastructure will be brand new (Category A, see the chart below) – things like booms, exam and surgical lights, ceiling-mounted patient lifts, MDRD and Medical Imaging equipment and biohazard safety cabinets, etc. This equipment can’t be moved because it has to be installed, tested and commissioned well in advance of opening day, so it’s ready to provide patient care on day one. There’s a handful of equipment in this category that might come with us because of budget restrictions, or because it’s expected to be in very good condition in 2027, but most of Category A equipment will be new.

Equipment needed to support the added patient capacity at the new hospital will need to be purchased. For example, we’re adding about 26% more inpatient capacity at the new hospital (based on 2016 funded beds). For this extra capacity beds, monitors, diagnostic sets, and furniture etc. will need to be purchased, because they don’t exist at the current hospital, and therefore can’t be transferred.

Equipment that supports a new model of care (how we care for patients) will be new. A great example of this is bedpan washers. To support better infection control, instead of having shared bedpan washers in soiled utility rooms like we have today, the new hospital will have a bedpan washer in each in-patient room. This requires the Equipment Team to use part of its budget for bedpan washers. Another example is the furniture, like sofabeds, that will be in the new family zone in each inpatient room allowing family members to comfortably stay overnight to support the patient.

The majority of furniture will be brand new (Category D). This ensures desks and chairs are ergonomic, all furniture meets infection control standards, and that there’s a consistent aesthetic across the entire hospital. It’s also because, unlike clinical equipment, it’s hard to get operational, donor, or capital funding for furniture. And moving furniture can cost about 80% of what we’d pay to buy it brand new. These are some of the reasons the Equipment Team will use part of their budget on some new furniture.

What’s being moved with us? (The 30%)

The majority of existing mobile clinical equipment that’s in good working condition will move with us – things like beds, stretchers, and carts (Category G equipment, see image below). Since we’re still five years away from the big move, this list isn’t final yet.

Who decides which exact equipment will be moved with us?

As the Equipment Team progresses in procuring equipment and furniture over the next few years, they’ll reach out to all departments to look for opportunities and gaps, and to finalize new equipment/furniture versus what will be transferred to the new hospital. When possible, the team is happy to work with clinical operations to determine the current state of equipment and its viability for transfer, and to offer support on equipment renewal planning prior to go-live at the new hospital.

What happens to the equipment that’s left behind?

It hasn’t been decided yet what will happen with the equipment we leave behind. Some of it may be returned to vendors, moved to other facilities, or donated.

If you have a question about equipment or the New St. Paul’s Hospital and Health Campus Project ask it here at EngageNS​ (log in using the red button and your network login), email or leave a comment below.​