PETERBOROUGH, ON, April 21 /CNW/ - The Ontario Nurses' Association (ONA) is deeply concerned about the future quality of patient care at the Peterborough Regional Health Centre following a Peer Review report recommending significant bed closures and deep cuts to nursing positions.
The Peer Review recommends the closure of 71 of the facility's 412 beds in operation in areas such as the intensive care unit, surgical and medical step-down units, surgical and medical in-patient units, diagnostic imaging and telemetry, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, as well as the elimination of 121 full-time-equivalent nursing positions - totaling the loss of approximately 250,000 hours per year of nursing care for patients.
"If these cuts proceed, the patients of the Peterborough community will suffer the consequences," said ONA President Linda Haslam-Stroud, RN. "We are deeply worried about the erosion of RNs in this hospital and across the province. This community has now joined a list of Ontario hospitals that have attempted to balance the books on the backs of nurses - and quality patient care. In the past 12 months alone, 2,045 nursing positions equaling more than four million hours per year of RN care have been cut. If the cuts to Peterborough aren't stopped, that shocking total will increase."
The incidence of morbidity (complications) and mortality (death) has been shown to increase as patients lose the expertise and skills that RNs bring. Studies have shown a seven per cent rise in patient complications and death for every additional patient added to an average RN's workload.
"This news is beyond devastating to our patients, the entire community and the nurses at Peterborough Regional Health Centre, who want nothing more than to be able to provide quality care," added Haslam-Stroud. "We are urging the patients and the community to join with their nurses in speaking out against these harmful cuts."
ONA is the union representing 55,000 front-line registered nurses and allied health professionals and more than 12,000 nursing student affiliates providing care in Ontario hospitals, long-term care facilities, public health, the community and industry.
SOURCE Ontario Nurses' Association
For further information: For further information: Ontario Nurses' Association, Sheree Bond, (416) 964-8833, ext. 2430, Cellular: (416) 986-8240; Melanie Levenson, (416) 964-8833, ext. 2369