Where Do Families Come From?
The official catchment area for the Kingston
hospitals extends from Brighton in the west to Brockville in
the east, and from the American border to the far north of Ontario. But this does not tell the whole story, since it is not unusual for patients to be transferred from much farther away when hospitals in Sudbury, London, or Toronto are full.
Sometimes children come from even farther away. The trans-Canada highway passes through Kingston, and motor-vehicle accidents unfortunately account for a significant fraction of children who use Almost Home. Kingston is also a popular tourist destination in its own right, but illness and accidents do not take vacations. Our distance record is a family from East Timor in Southeast Asia!
Long distances to Kingston pose special problems for children being treated as outpatients. Appointments start as early as 7:00am, even for families who may be a three-hour drive from Kingston. Children who could be discharged to a home in Kingston may be held overnight if their community has no local hospital.
In both these examples, Almost Home provides a place for the child to stay in a home-like environment, rather than spending a night in hospital solely because they live too far away.