Expert Nursing Panel Hears RN Staffing Concerns at Humber River Hospital's Hemodialysis Unit

TORONTO, April 22, 2016 /CNW/ - An independent panel of nursing experts is wrapping up a three-day hearing into the concerns of registered nurses (RNs) working in Humber River Hospital's Hemodialysis Unit today.

The "Independent Assessment Committee" (IAC) was held from April 20 to 22 after having been repeatedly delayed by hospital management. This is the third IAC hearing to be called by the Ontario Nurses' Association (ONA) and Humber RNs in the past four years. There has already been an IAC held regarding the Emergency departments for the Finch and Church sites; an IAC was also held into the Finch and Church site's Endoscopy unit. To date, the recommendations made by those expert panels have yet to be fully implemented and ONA has also now had to take steps to convene another IAC into the new Wilson site Emergency department.

"Registered nurses are so concerned with poor RN staffing in the Hemodialysis unit and management's failure to act on their written concerns that they have been forced to again call in the expert panel," said ONA First Vice-President Vicki McKenna, RN. "Our front-line registered nurses have been flagging the problem of poor RN staffing levels and the impact on patients for five years. When the hospital's new, private-public partnership-built building opened, RN staffing was decreased. While the hospital is now housed in a shiny new building, the fact is that there are not enough RNs on staff to safely care for patients."

The IAC panel consists of three nursing experts. They have heard evidence from the RNs and the employer over the course of the hearing, and will now consider the evidence and make recommendations. The panel heard from ONA that Humber River Hospital has one of the worst RN staffing levels in its in-hospital hemodialysis unit anywhere in the province.

"RNs know that our hemodialysis patients rely on the skilled and educated registered nurses to provide high-quality care for them," says McKenna. "ONA looks forward to hearing the recommendations of the expert panel, and to quality care improving for hemodialysis patients who so desperately need the best care possible."

ONA is the union representing 60,000 registered nurses, nurse practitioners, registered practical 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, family health teams, community health centres, the community, clinics and industry.

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SOURCE Ontario Nurses' Association

For further information: Ontario Nurses' Association: Sheree Bond, (416) 964-8833, ext. 2430, cell: (416) 986-8240,; Ken Marciniec, (416) 964-8833, ext. 2306, cell: (416) 803-6066,


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