Expert Nursing Panel Looks at Humber River Hospital: Nurses say RN staffing levels unsafe, a risk to patients

TORONTO, June 19, 2014 /CNW/ - Members of the Ontario Nurses' Association (ONA) working at Humber River Hospital have called in an expert panel to examine registered nursing staffing levels, fragmentation of patient care, improper staff support and an incorrect use of skill mix for the type of patient.

The Independent Assessment Committee (IAC) is a panel of nursing experts who, beginning today, will hear from both RNs concerned with risks to patient care and hospital management. The panel will write a report and make recommendations following the three-day hearing.

"Unfortunately, this is not the first time that our nurses have had to call for an IAC at Humber River," notes ONA President Linda Haslam-Stroud, RN. "Humber management has refused to address the very serious issues impacting the safety of patient care, previously in its emergency department and again in this IAC. RNs have gone to great lengths to attempt to solve the concerns, but the employer is not interested in ensuring that our patients get the care they need and deserve."

Haslam-Stroud notes that when patient care is involved, the College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO) has very clear patient care standards that nurses must meet.

"The hospital has not used a skill mix of caregivers that complies with CNO standards, leaving our patients at risk and our nurses' licenses to practice at risk," she said. "In addition, there have been front-line staff cuts that have resulted in staff having to work too many overtime hours, miss their breaks, and work late. This, studies have shown, only leads to burnout, injury and a higher risk of staff making errors that hurt patients."

ONA is the union representing 60,000 registered nurses and allied health professionals, as well as more than 14,000 nursing student affiliates providing care in hospitals, long-term care facilities, public health, the community, clinics and industry.

Visit us at: www.ona.org; Facebook.com/OntarioNurses; Twitter.com/OntarioNurses.

SOURCE: Ontario Nurses' Association

For further information: Ontario Nurses' Association: Sheree Bond, (416) 964-8833, ext. 2430; cell: (416) 986-8240; shereeb@ona.org; Melanie Levenson, (416) 964-8833 ext. 2369; melaniel@ona.org

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