Lakeridge Health Registered Nurses Call in Independent Committee to Review Patient Safety, Staffing in Emergency Department

OSHAWA, ON, March 18, 2013 /CNW/ - The registered nurses who are concerned about unsafe RN staffing levels and patient safety at the Lakeridge Health Oshawa emergency department have called in an Independent Assessment Committee (IAC) to review the issues.

The nurses - members of the Ontario Nurses' Association (ONA) - will provide evidence to the panel of three nursing experts on the negative impact that inadequate RN staffing levels is having on patient care.

"Our dedicated RNs have consistently provided written documentation to their employer outlining their inability to properly and safely care for emergency department patients," notes ONA President Linda Haslam-Stroud, RN.

"The employer has failed to adequately address the concerns of our members, and they remain concerned not only about the health of patients, but about meeting their professional standards because of insufficient staffing."

An IAC is a panel of three nursing experts that addresses the professional workload complaints of registered nurses. A hearing is called as a last resort - when nurses and management have attempted at length to settle workload issues internally - and it determines whether nurses are being assigned more work than is consistent with the provision of proper patient care.

"This hearing, which begins today, is about ensuring that patients who walk into Lakeridge Health emergency departments receive the quality of nursing care they expect and deserve," says Haslam-Stroud. "Nursing is a highly regulated profession and RNs must be able to meet the standards set for them by their regulator. Anything less risks patient safety and the license of the RNs."

ONA is the union representing 60,000 front-line RNs and allied health professionals and more than 14,000 nursing student affiliates providing care in Ontario hospitals, long-term care facilities, public health, the community, industry and clinics.

SOURCE: Ontario Nurses' Association

For further information:

Ontario Nurses' Association

Sheree Bond    (416) 964-1979, ext. 2430; cell (416) 986-8240;

Ruth Featherstone   (416) 964-1979, ext. 2267;

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