NORTH BAY, ON, Nov. 24, 2021 /CNW/ - The Ontario Nurses' Association (ONA) is raising the alarm about cuts to registered nurse (RN) positions that are risking resident safety at Cassellholme home for the aged in North Bay. Nurses have requested time to make a presentation to the home's board of management and for the board to take action.
"Our dedicated RNs are going on record – in accordance with their professional standards under their regulatory college – about serious concerns regarding the failure of management to address multiple, serious issues at the home. These include chronic understaffing, resulting in workloads that directly impact the safety of resident care," says ONA President Vicki McKenna, RN.
"For more than four years, the RNs have worked to try to find a resolution that benefits the 220 vulnerable residents at Cassellholme. This past August, after many months of collaboration between ONA and management, an agreement was reached that we believed, in good faith, would resolve many of the workload concerns raised by our members. In October, management informed ONA of its plan to trial a change in the staffing model that not only violates the settlement reached in August, but that ONA believes seriously compromises care of the residents of Cassellholme."
The RNs say management's failure to act has left just one RN working in the home during the day shift – a dangerous situation for residents. The home is short of RNs, registered practical nurses and personal support workers. This, says ONA RNs, has increased verbal and physical abuse in the home, near misses for residents, and left the home unsafe for both residents and staff alike.
In response, management has announced a change to the care model used at Cassellholme.
"This is completely unacceptable," says McKenna. "Further diluting the care our vulnerable residents receive is outrageous as a response, rather than redoubling efforts to recruit RNs. The board of management needs to step up, listen to what our nurses have to say, and fulfil their fiduciary duties to ensure the residents and staff of Cassellholme have the safety and care they deserve."
ONA has requested the opportunity to discuss concerns at the November 25 board of management meeting. "ONA has concerns and also solutions to ensuring the best quality care is available for the residents of Cassellholme," says McKenna. "Residents deserve no less."
ONA is the union representing more than 68,000 registered nurses and health-care professionals, as well as 18,000 nursing student affiliates, providing care in hospitals, long-term care, public health, the community, clinics and industry.
SOURCE Ontario Nurses' Association
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