HUNTSVILLE, ON, June 20, 2012 /CNW/ - Home care clients in Muskoka will
lose the continuity of care so important to their well-being after 17
home care nurses at Victorian Order of Nurses (VON) in Huntsville were
provided with notice of long-term layoffs.
The Ontario Nurses' Association (ONA) has recently been advised that as
of September 30, 2012, the contract between the VON for Canada-Ontario
Branch North Bay Site - Huntsville Area and the North Simcoe Muskoka
Community Care Access Centre (CCAC) will expire and it will no longer
be the home care service provider. Effective October 1, 2012, the
contract will be granted to the for-profit organization, Closing the
Gap Healthcare Group, which currently does not provide nursing services
in the Muskoka area.
"This situation is absolutely abhorrent," says ONA President Linda
Haslam-Stroud. "The VON is a cherished non-profit organization that has
been providing quality services to the clients of this community for
more than a decade, and not one explanation has been given as to why it
will no longer be the service provider. In fact, we have learned the
CCAC was in direct negotiations with Closing the Gap and that the VON
'mutually agreed' to the arrangement. We do not understand this at all
and are demanding answers."
The 17 registered nurses and registered practical nurses who received
layoff notices provide an array of home care services directly in their
clients' homes throughout the Muskoka area, including Huntsville,
Bracebridge, Gravenhurst and as far north as Burk's Falls. The layoffs
are equal to removing approximately 34,000 hours of VON nursing care.
"Our VON members know their clients, know their community and have years
of experience providing quality client care," Haslam-Stroud adds. "In
turn, these clients trust and feel comfortable with their nurses. But
this change in service providers will remove that continuity of care,
which we know contributes greatly to their overall well-being."
While the trend in health care is to move patients quicker than ever out
of hospitals and back into the community, ONA is concerned the
appropriate supports just aren't in place - and treating home care
nurses like this won't help.
"CCAC case managers cannot keep up with the enormous and increasing
demand for community care as it is, explaining why there are more than
10,000 people on Ontario home care wait lists," Haslam-Stroud says.
"Nurses who work in this sector have unbearable workloads. Now, these
VON nurses face either unemployment or working for a provider that will
likely cut wages and benefits. Many may simply choose to leave the
nursing profession altogether, exacerbating the situation. These nurses
deserve respect for the work they do, which saves taxpayers significant
money by providing quality care in clients' homes.
"On a personal note, I find it despicable that my 93-year-old uncle will
have to wait six months to be provided with the same two hours of home
care in Huntsville that he received in southern Ontario because of a
lack of home care providers. What an appalling way to treat our
elderly, who deserve so much better at this stage in their lives."
ONA is the union representing 59,000 front-line RNs and allied health
professionals and more than 13,000 nursing student affiliates providing
care in Ontario communities, hospitals, long-term care facilities,
public health, industry and clinics.
SOURCE Ontario Nurses' Association
For further information:
Ontario Nurses' Association
Ruth Featherstone (416) 964-8833, ext. 2267 or email@example.com
Melanie Levenson (416) 964-8833, ext. 2369 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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