Independent Assessment Committee Makes 19 Recommendations for Grand River Hospital: ONA and Hospital Working to Implement Them

    TORONTO, June 11 /CNW/ - The Ontario Nurses' Association (ONA) and
representatives from Grand River Hospitals have held their first meeting to
discuss how to implement the recommendations of an Independent Assessment
Committee that has reviewed and made 19 recommendations regarding a host of
issues in the hospital's surgical unit.
    ONA asked for an Independent Assessment Committee - or IAC - review of
staffing at Grand River Hospital last year to address nurses' concerns. The
hearing took place April 17-19, 2007, and both the hospital and ONA are
committed to implementing them.
    Grand River has had an inadequate staffing base of both full- and
part-time nurses, resulting in inappropriate patient assignment for its
nurses. Vacancies on the schedules were going unfilled, resulting in high
overtime for nurses, high sick time, and no sick-call replacements, and the
surgical unit has had low or minimal patient supplies, a lack of equipment,
and minimal support staff.
    "This report points out that an inadequate number of full-time-equivalent
nurses has caused inappropriate levels of stress for Grand River Hospital's
full-time and part-time nurses working in the inpatient surgical unit," says
Linda Haslam-Stroud, RN, ONA President. "ONA is encouraged by the way in which
the hospital's leadership is treating the serious problems identified in the
report. We hope that this will prompt positive, permanent changes to alleviate
the conditions under which our nurses have been working. If the hospital
continues to take this seriously, the people of Kitchener-Waterloo should
benefit with better patient care."
    The IAC's 19 recommendations focused on improving staffing, resource
supports and communications. It also said that the hospital's recent
initiative to increase the availability of part-time, casual and float pool
nurses to cover the units needs additional focused monitoring and evaluation
of resources, and that additional relief staff will be needed.
    Both the hospital and ONA are committed to working together on
implementing the recommendations of the IAC, though the hospital has reserved
judgment on five of the recommendations regarding resource supports. The two 
groups will meet again on June 12.

    ONA is the union representing 53,000 front-line registered nurses and
allied health professionals working in Ontario hospitals, long-term care
facilities, public health, the community and industry.

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

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