RN Cuts at Cambridge Memorial Hospital Will Harm Patient Care: Loss of 22 RN positions means more death and disease for patients

CAMBRIDGE, ON, March 18, 2015 /CNW/ - The Ontario Nurses' Association (ONA) is warning residents that Cambridge Memorial Hospital's new "model of care" will increase the rate of death and disease for patients.

"Despite the findings of numerous scientific studies showing that registered nursing care improves patients' health outcomes, Cambridge Memorial Hospital is taking away 38,000 hours of RN care a year from patients," said ONA President Linda Haslam-Stroud, RN. "Patient care will be sacrificed by this wrong-headed decision, no matter how reassuring the words of the administrators are. Let's be clear: this is about cutting costs at the expense of patient care."

Cambridge Memorial is cutting RN care from its medical, surgical and rehabilitation units.

"Study after study has shown what a false economy cutting RNs turns out to be, not to mention bad for patient health outcomes," said Haslam-Stroud. "Every extra patient added to an average nurses' workload means a seven-per-cent increase in the risk of patients suffering from complications and even death. Conversely, studies show that adding more RN care leads to better health outcomes for patients, a reduction in readmissions to hospital, a reduction in medication errors and less risk of patients suffering from bedsores, pneumonia, blood clots, gastritis and ulcers, sepsis, shock, cardiac arrest and death."

Ontario has the second-worst ratio of RNs per population in the country. Yet this province has continued to cut RN care to balance hospital budgets, with patient care falling through the cracks. Haslam-Stroud urges the community to speak out against RN cuts to their LHIN, MPPs, the Minister of Health and the Premier.

"We all need the skills and care that Registered Nurses provide," she said, "and patients deserve the best, safest care possible."

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, the community, public health, clinics and industry.

Visit us at: www.ona.org; Facebook.com/OntarioNurses; Twitter.com/OntarioNurses

SOURCE Ontario Nurses' Association

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


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