Ontario Nurses' Association warns Port Perry Nursing Home Residents at Risk:
Community Nursing Home Port Perry Cutting RNs, RPNs, PSWs

PORT PERRY, ON, Sept. 14 /CNW/ - The Ontario Nurses' Association (ONA) is gravely concerned with the future quality of resident care at Community Nursing Home Port Perry as staff is being dramatically cut.

The facility is cutting the equivalent of 67.5 hours bi-weekly of registered nursing (RN) care, 45 hours bi-weekly of registered practical nursing (RPN) care and 430 hours bi-weekly of personal support worker (PSW) care - a total loss of 542.5 hours bi-weekly of care for the 107 mostly senior residents at Community Nursing Home Port Perry.

"The decision to lay off the staff who provide nursing and personal care to the residents of the home will have a devastating effect on the health-care services that these residents need - it is the worst news possible for both the residents who live at the Home and the remaining health care professionals who will experience yet another increase to their workloads," says ONA President Linda Haslam-Stroud, RN.

"Management believes the Home can function with bare-bones staffing but it results in decreased quality of care," she says. "Where cuts of this magnitude have occurred, it is difficult to ensure that residents will receive the legislated two baths per week and be repositioned every hour. Residents will have longer wait times in response to their nursing and personal care needs. Trying to convince people that the current level of staffing is unnecessary in order to provide quality resident care - all to cut $79,000 from the budget - is seriously flawed thinking."

The cutting of a full-time RN leaves just one other RN to attend to the complex nursing care needs of all residents on days while working to support other registered and allied health professionals.

The cuts will also see the loss of one full-time and one part-time PSW on night shift, four part-time PSWs on days and four part-time PSWs on evenings. These workers attend to the feeding, toileting, bathing and all other personal care needs of residents. In total, 41 lay-off notices were given to PSW; of these, 19 saw their hours of work severely reduced and 22 are gone completely.

The RPN who provided skin care two dedicated days bi-weekly has had these days eliminated and two RPNs who work four days bi-weekly maintaining the care plans of the residents have seen these shifts eliminated.

ONA Bargaining Unit Co-President Dorothy Algar, representing the PSWs and RPN, says, "As a result of the staffing cuts we will not be able to provide the compassionate care that our residents deserve. In my 14 years as Bargaining Unit President, I have never seen cuts this deep in nursing and personal care staffing. Residents should not suffer due to the financial issues of the Home. The costs to families have increased while nursing and personal care have decreased. You simply can't eliminate our jobs and not expect quality to suffer."

ONA Bargaining Unit Co-President Sue Martin, representing the registered nurses, says, "With the elimination of the skin care nurse, I expect that wounds will increase since there are fewer staff attending to the nursing care needs of the residents. It will be a challenge for staff to keep up with the multiple assessments required by the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care as a result of the reduced nursing staff."

ONA will hold an information picket on Wednesday September 16th from 1 pm to 3:30 pm outside the Home, located at 15941 Simcoe Street in Port Perry. Lay offs are in effect on November 19, 2009 and come as the province prepares for HINI outbreaks in Ontario as well as when the government recognizes there is a nursing shortage.

ONA is the union representing 54,000 registered nurses and allied health professionals and 10,000 nursing students providing care in hospitals, long-term care facilities, public health, the community, clinics and industry. ONA is celebrating 35 years of nursing advocacy - a proud past, a powerful future.

SOURCE Ontario Nurses' Association

For further information: For further information: Ontario Nurses' Association: Sheree Bond, (416) 964-8833, ext. 2430, cell: (416) 986-8240; Melanie Levenson, (416) 964-8833, ext. 2369

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