TORONTO, Sept. 23, 2015 /CNW/ - The Ontario Nurses' Association (ONA) and its more than 3,500 members working in Community Care Access Centres and home care know that improving quality health-care services to their patients while removing duplication is vital. Any reforms to be made following the release of the Auditor-General's Community Care Access Centre report must remove the current barriers faced by Care Coordinators, Nurses and Health Professionals who provide direct patient care in order for them to better provide quality home care services to their patients. ONA is a key stakeholder in this sector and is looking forward to adding its knowledge and experience to the discussion.
"Our front-line Care Coordinators, Nurses and Health Professionals know the system, know their patients' needs and deliver direct patient care," said ONA President Linda Haslam-Stroud, RN. "We are pleased that the Auditor-General's report recognizes the issues ONA has flagged -- duplication resulting from the procurement process, inconsistencies in care models and services between the 14 CCACs, high CEO salaries and lack of accountability in some cases, and large and ever-growing numbers of management staff within the CCACs. In some cases, there is one manager for every five positions."
ONA believes that CCACs could be run more efficiently and cost-effectively and provide consistent patient care by bringing all home care providers into the employ of the CCACs, thereby removing the Request for Proposals (RFP) process. Haslam-Stroud notes that since private, for-profit providers were introduced to the system back in 1998, more staff have been needed simply to manage the procurement process. Private providers have had difficulty attracting and retaining nurses because of the poor working conditions and compensation they offer. When the province's 14 CCACs were merged, management grew, rather than shrank as the government intended.
Although laudable, the Auditor-General has failed to understand the vital role that Care Coordinators, Nurses and Health Professionals play in delivering direct patient care in this sector.
"Patient care needs have to be directly assessed by skilled health-care providers, including nurses, in order to determine their unique needs," explains Haslam-Stroud. "Only then can home-care providers begin to deliver the care. Our Care Coordinators, Nurses and Health Professionals are pivotal to this system, ensuring that their patients are properly assessed -- often face-to-face in their homes -- and developing care plans to ensure patients receive the care they need when they need it," Haslam-Stroud explained. "Our members also provide end-of-life care for their patients, and direct health-care services to a range of patients, including children with special care needs and teenagers with mental health issues in their schools. They save the system money through their knowledge, preventing unnecessary hospitalizations. The expertise and experience of our Care Coordinators, Nurses and Health Professionals is invaluable to the system. We must respect and rely on their knowledge and experience, which is what our patients rely upon."
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: For more information: Ontario Nurses' Association, Sheree Bond, (416) 986-8240, (416) 964-8833, ext. 2430, [email protected]; Ruth Featherstone, (416) 964-8833, ext. 2267; [email protected]