Our Place has been operating a “pop-up” supervised injection site for about a year. Island Health will open the Island’s first official supervised consumption service next door at 914 Pandora St. in late spring 2018. Kristyn Anthony/VICTORIA NEWS

Island Health sends out call to staff supervised consumption service in Victoria

Request for proposals open until January, site to open in late spring 2018

Island Health has issued two requests for proposals in an effort to make sure the Island’s first approved supervised consumption service – a safe injection site for drug users – is properly staffed when it opens at 941 Pandora St. next spring.

The health authority is reaching out to community service providers such as AIDS Vancouver Island, Cool Aid, Our Place Society and the Portland Hotel Society (PHS) to ensure those hired are well-versed in harm reduction.

“We will be looking for people with lived experience, that will very much be critical,” said Dr. Richard Stanwick, chief medical officer for Island Health. “Individuals who understand they will be there during the injection and during the chill out.”

The 10-booth site will also staff a registered nurse for primary care, a social program officer to provide counselling treatment and a clinician to manage the consumption room and overdose responses. But Stanwick doesn’t want the facility to be thought of as an institution like a hospital.

“We want those with experience and empathy to bring a greater degree of professionalism to provide the kind of oversight needed for things like naloxone training,” he said.

Many staff from organizations like Our Place and PHS are already working in overdose prevention sites, Stanwick added. Of the 18 safe injection sites the province currently operates, nine are located on the Island.

Our Place has been operating a “pop-up” overdose prevention site since December 2016. Director of communications Grant McKenzie said there have been no deaths recorded since, despite close to 100 people using the service on a daily basis.

Insite was the first legal supervised drug injection site in North America when it opened in Vancouver’s downtown eastside in 2003.

“Vancouver has certainly provided us with the scientific foundation to formulate our thinking in terms of moving forward,” Stanwick said. “Nanaimo is probably another success and I think the testimony to all the groups operating these services is that we have not had a single death.”

When Island Health opens its supervised consumption service in late spring 2018, the operation will run seven days a week, 12 hours a day. The request for proposals deadline is Jan. 19, 2018 and can be found online at BCbid.gov.bc.ca.

“We’re really looking forward to seeing what comes in by January,” Stanwick said.

kristyn.anthony@vicnews.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

New exhibit at Point Ellice House examines history of waste, water and privilege

Night soil scavengers in the 19th century would collect human waste and dump it around the city

Coastal scenes at the forefront for July shows at Victoria galleries

From sculpture to landscape paintings, summer art is about nature

Salish Sea scavenger hunt turns participants into citizen scientists

Public invited to join the Great Salish Sea BioBlitz

It’s showtime: Victoria theatre reopens with new COVID-19 protocols

Capitol 6 theatre and SilverCity Victoria have reopened with limited seating

Victoria Police searching for missing teen

Arianna Mckenzie, 17, last seen July 2

13 new B.C. COVID-19 cases, Langley Lodge outbreak ends

Health care outbreaks down to four, 162 cases active

Two injured hikers airlifted from North Vancouver Island Park

Campbell River and Comox Search and Rescue hoist team rescued the injured from Cape Scott Provincial Park

Alberta health minister orders review into response after noose found in hospital in 2016

A piece of rope tied into a noose was found taped to the door of an operating room at the Grande Prairie Hospital in 2016

B.C.’s major rivers surge, sparking flood warnings

A persistent low pressure system over Alberta has led to several days of heavy rain

B.C.’s Indigenous rights law faces 2020 implementation deadline

Pipeline projects carry on as B.C. works on UN goals

‘Mind boggling’: B.C. man $1 million richer after winning Lotto 6/49 a second time

David O’Brien hopes to use his winnings to travel and of course keep playing the lottery

B.C. teacher loses licence after sexual relationships with two recently-graduated students

The teacher won’t be allowed to apply for a teaching certificate until 2035

Lower Mainland teacher facing child pornography charges

Elazar Reshef, 52, has worked in the Delta School District

Most Read