TORONTO, Nov. 20, 2013 /CNW/ - The Ontario Nurses' Association (ONA)
says that violence in Ontario's long-term care facilities can be
significantly reduced by implementing the recommendations from past
coroners' inquests into the same issue.
"Two recent homicides in Ontario long-term care homes show the
importance of implementing the recommendations from the 2005 Casa Verde
coroners' inquest," said ONA President Linda Haslam-Stroud, RN. "For
eight years now, ONA has been advocating for these recommendations to
be acted upon, to ensure our frail elderly residents are safe."
ONA was granted standing at the Casa Verde inquest and presented
evidence on the state of nursing in long-term care, including staff
turnover, staffing, professional issues, training and violence in the
workplace. ONA also provided recommendations to the jury to assist it
in developing its own recommendations to improve the lives of
residents. All 52 of ONA's recommendations are included in those made
by the jury.
Among the most important are to appropriately staff these homes to allow
for residents with cognitive abilities to be better managed, to monitor
treatment plans, upgrade training of staff to ensure they have the
knowledge, time and resources needed to assess and treat residents with
cognitive impairments, and make immediate changes to the province's
funding model for these facilities so they have the resources to
properly staff them.
Haslam-Stroud said that while these recommendations will require
funding, it's untenable that long-term care residents are continuing to
be at risk when they're in these homes. ONA has been calling for a
funded and regulated minimum standard of an average of four worked
hours of care per resident/per day of nursing and personal care,
including .78 worked hours a day of RN care per resident for those in
Ontario long-term care facilities.
"The elderly deserve dignified, safe and respectful care," says
Haslam-Stroud. "As front-line registered nurses, we have been calling
for improvements in care for these vulnerable residents for more than a
decade. Yet despite long-term care tragedies, registered nurse staffing
levels have continued to drop, with very few exceptions, and our
residents are not getting the quality care they deserve. We have met
with officials who are aware of what needs to be done to protect these
residents. A funded and regulated minimum staffing standard must
include .78 worked hours a day of RN care per resident to ensure that
our residents are provided with the care they require."
Haslam-Stroud calls on the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care to act
now on mandating a minimum staffing standard of four hours of care per
resident per day for long-term care facilities now.
"How to keep our residents safe is not a mystery," she said. "We already
know the steps that need to be taken to ensure that these types of
attacks don't happen, but they have yet to happen. We simply have to
stop relying on hope and a prayer and implement the very thoughtful and
appropriate recommendations that we have had for so long."
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.
SOURCE: Ontario Nurses' Association
For further information:
Ontario Nurses' Association
Sheree Bond (416) 964-8833, ext. 2430/cell: (416) 986-8240, firstname.lastname@example.org
Ruth Featherstone (416) 964-8833, ext. 2267, email@example.com
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