OTTAWA -- The Ottawa Hospital is opening a new off-site transitional care unit at an Ottawa long-term care home.

The 55-bed unit opening the first week of May at West End Villa will be a place for patients to transition from hospital care to long-term care or other care in the community.

"While in the early days of the pandemic, health-care workers supported long-term care homes in need, now long-term care homes are supporting hospitals and helping us create care capacity for the most acutely ill," said Cameron Love, president of the Ottawa Hospital.

"This is a partnership that we can build on going forward, creating more opportunities for collaborative care models in the future.”

The Ottawa Hospital says the new unit at West End Villa will serve Alternate Level of Care patients, who no longer require acute level hospital care, while continuing to meet the needs of long-term care residents.

The new off-site transitional care unit opens as the Ottawa Hospital implements its Level 2 Surge capacity to deal with an increase in COVID-19 patients.  The hospital increased bed capacity and cancelled non-urgent elective surgeries and procedures to free up staff.

Last September, the Ottawa Hospital began to manage resident care at Extendicare West End Villa and Extendicare Laurier Manor to help respond to COVID-19 outbreaks.