London RNs Raise Awareness of Cuts to Patient Care

Nurses say London Health Sciences has cut 250,000 hours of RN care

LONDON, ON, July 29, 2016 /CNW/ - Registered nurses (RNs) from London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) are rallying at an information picket today to raise public awareness of cuts to RN care that they say has left patients waiting too long and comprised care quality.

The Ontario Nurses' Association (ONA) members are flagging the increased risk to patient outcomes as RN care is cut.

"LHSC has cut more than a quarter of a million hours of RN care, or 140 RN positions," says ONA Bargaining Unit President James Murray, RN. "The hospital has cut palliative care beds, left mental health patients for days or weeks in the ER, waiting to be admitted to an ICU bed, and it appears that management may have fired the chief nursing executive for advocating for RN care."

ONA President Linda Haslam-Stroud notes that Ontario has the worst RN-to-population ratio in Canada, and the second-worst per-capita hospital funding in the country.

"As the hospital has cut RNs and introduced cheaper, less-educated and unregulated workers, hundreds of RNs have expressed fears that they can no longer meet their College of Nurses of Ontario standards," Haslam-Stroud says. "There are simply too few RNs left to provide quality care to our patients."

Murray says that the hospital has wasted millions of dollars trying to implement a "LEAN" business method that "may work in a car assembly plant or appliance factory, but has proved to be completely ineffective in a hospital setting."

Haslam-Stroud and the RNs at London Health Sciences Centre are calling for management to increase RN staffing to improve patient care, wait times and enable nurses to meet their professional standards. "Our patients are too important to continue to be at the mercy of bad decision-making by this hospital," she says.

ONA is the union representing 62,000 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.

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SOURCE Ontario Nurses' Association

For further information: Ontario Nurses' Association, Ruth Featherstone (416) 964-8833, ext. 2267;; James Murray, RN Cell: (226) 919-5642


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