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New policies will deliver improved patient care

(MONCTON) October 30, 2015 - A new policy that removes traditional visiting hours to provide patients with family support 24 hours a day will be implemented in Horizon facilities early next year.

"Horizon is committed to working with patients, families and staff members to create and sustain an exceptional patient and family centred care environment," said John McGarry, President and CEO of Horizon Health Network. "I am proud to say that we are introducing the policies and programs necessary to achieve that goal."

The Family Presence Policy will ensure that close family members and partners in care are recognized as essential members of the health care team to provide comfort and encouragement to patients beyond traditional visiting hours.

"Each of our patients has diverse and individual needs," said Margaret Melanson, vice-president of quality and patient centred care at Horizon Health Network. "We are ensuring that they have a voice in who is at their side at all times during their hospital stay to compassionately meet those needs."

Other visitors, including guests of the patient who make short, infrequent visits, will be encouraged to respect designated quiet hours to ensure all patients continue to receive the best care possible.

The policy was approved at Horizon Health Network's quarterly board meeting in Moncton on Thursday.

The Board also supported a program to provide the mentally ill with a treatment plan that involves the individual and their family, friends and health care professionals. Following a recommendation from the jury in the Serena Perry coroner's inquest, a government-led task force was established to develop a strategy to implement community treatment order legislation.

"Community Treatment Orders will remove the traditional means of hospitalization to ensure a person who suffers from a serious mental disorder can be monitored and offered support in a community setting, rather than in a psychiatric facility," said Jean Daigle, vice-president of community at Horizon Health Network. "Horizon fully supports this initiative and as a member of the task force, we intend to cooperate fully in efforts to implement the program."

For more information on this and other board meetings, a Report to the Community is published quarterly. The next scheduled board meeting is January 28, 2016.

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For more information contact:

Stephanie Neilson
Media Relations
1-877-499-1899
Media@HorizonNB.ca
www.HorizonNB.ca

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