Media Statement: MNU responds to situation at Maples PCH

Publish date: Sunday, November 08, 2020

COVID-19

Health and safety

Health care

Nursing shortages

Politics & Government

Workload staffing

November 8, 2020
For Immediate Release

 

MNU President Darlene Jackson responds to the situation at Maples PCH

 

“Our deepest condolences go out to the families who have recently lost loved ones at Maples Personal Care Home.
 
Maples has been understaffed for many months, and nurses have been sounding the alarm. For example, nurses at the facility have submitted 47 Workload Staffing Report forms so far this year, more than triple the number submitted for all of last year (14). WSRs are a voluntary report form that nurses can use to identify workload and staffing issues that are shared with the employer. Reports show short-staffing has been a major issue, leading to missed or delayed treatments for residents and other issues providing care.
 
Despite what the WRHA and Revera have claimed, we have serious doubt that Maples had a full nursing complement working the evening of November 6, and we are investigating further. Unfortunately this is not a unique situation, as there have been continued reports of chronic under-staffing at the facility. According to reports, sometimes just one nurse is assigned to care for 40 or 60 residents, and they are frequently short health care aides as well. They are often working short-staffed, at times hovering around 50% of the baseline nursing complement. These issues have been brought forward but repeatedly ignored by Revera, and now amidst a massive outbreak we’re also aware of at least 13 nurses that have tested positive for COVID-19 at the facility.
 
There is tremendous pressure on remaining staff, who are already stretched too thin trying to handle added workload because of the outbreak. These nurses care deeply for their residents, and are working excessive hours trying to provide the minimum standards of care. They need help.
 
This situation is a tragic example of the heavy price we’re now paying because of months of inaction from the Pallister government. Lives are being lost as a direct result of their refusal to put necessary resources in place. Just last week, government MLAs filibustered Bill 202, that would legislate an increase to care hours for long-term care residents, without promising any alternative. This is an issue we have been raising for years, and our recommendations have repeatedly been ignored. The total lack of support at every level for our most vulnerable is utterly deplorable.
 
Moving forward, the province must immediately take over private care homes experiencing an outbreak. Large outbreaks must be immediately investigated. The Pallister government must take immediate action to bolster staffing and implement stronger measures to keep residents and staff safe. They must immediately invest in robust recruitment and retention efforts. We cannot continue down the path we’re on. We need immediate action.”

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