Back to Annual Report

An effective community of care

A new suite of wrap-around services for people with problematic substance use and mental health concerns.

Our need to do something different when it comes to how we care for people with mental health concerns and problematic substance-use has been a vision long in the making, and has come to fruition in the HUB.

The innovative model of care provides up to 10 acute care beds in the HUB ED, eight spaces within a transitional care centre to help patients navigate support services and transition back into the community following treatment, a specialized outpatient clinic within St. Paul’s Hospital that offers rapid access to treatment for people with substance-use disorders, and the first Overdose Prevention Site within the Vancouver Coastal Health region located outside the Downtown Eastside. This care model delivers faster triaging of and better, specialized care for these vulnerable patients by providing important clinical, transitional and community-linked supports.

The nursing station in the HUB ED offers clear lines of sight to the patient care areas, as well as a great view of Jerry Whitehead’s mural.


The HUB ED will expand St. Paul’s Hospital emergency capacity by up to 10 beds. It is currently in the soft opening phase of clinical operations. Patients are being triaged to the space as needed, based on appropriate patient need and congestion levels. The expanded Emergency Department (ED) facilities for people with mental health and substance use issues will divert a significant portion of those patients from the regular ED and also help reduce police wait times.


The Vancouver Police Foundation Transitional Care Centre (VPF TCC) is a key part of this transformation. It is the first of its kind in Western Canada. It commenced operations on May 11, 2018 and is currently in the soft launch phase. It offers up to eight beds of time-limited, transitional accommodation for people discharged from St. Paul’s Hospital who are in need of a safe-place alternative, or an interim space to bridge transition into community accommodations. The hope is to decrease the ‘revolving door’ of crisis response and instead support a system that engages people and ensures accessibility throughout the treatment process.

The common space in the VPF TCC.



The Rapid Access Addiction Clinic (RAAC) opened in October 2016 and just recently expanded its services to seven days a week. It has seen a five-fold increase of patients for a total of more than 1,450 patients served, averaging 20 new patients each week with more than 800 of these patients successfully transferred back to the community for continued care. The goal of the low-barrier, judgment-free service model is for clients to be seen right away, usually the same day.

Peer support is one of the many resources that the RAAC offers its patients.


The Overdose Prevention Site (OPS) is the first of its kind within the Vancouver Coastal health region located outside the Downtown Eastside. It serves St. Paul’s Hospital’s inpatients/their families and friends and West End residents, plus members of the public.

Launched on May 7, the OPS opens at 11 a.m. seven days a week.

These services represent a unique collaboration of local industry, innovation and health care partners to improve treatment for people with mental-health and substance-use challenges.

The HUB services will meet the health, social and other related needs of people with mental-health and substance-use concerns who present at St. Paul’s Hospital ED, seek treatment if so desired, promotes harm reduction in a safe environment, and helps people successfully transition back to their communities.

We are optimistic about the improved patient outcomes and the role that this community of care will mean for helping to treat and heal people with problematic substance-use and mental health concerns.