Support Long-Term Care: MNU Launches Letter Writing Campaign

Publish date: Tuesday, February 19, 2019

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In order to build public support for Bill 201 that would enhance care for long-term care residents, MNU has launched a new online letter-writing campaign at putpatinetsfirst.ca/longtermcare. Supporters can enter their postal code to automatically send a template letter to their MLA expressing support for the legislation, and acknowledging the need for improved care standards for seniors and other vulnerable Manitobans. All letters are copied to the office of Health Minister Cameron Friesen and Premier Brian Pallister.

“Advocating is an essential part of nursing,” said MNU President Darlene Jackson. “We hope nurses and the public will take advantage of this template, and send a strong message to our MLA’s about the need for improved care standards for LTC residents in Manitoba.”

On November 29th, MNU announced support for Bill 201, The Health Services Insurance Amendment Act (Personal Care Homes Staffing Guidelines). Jackson and MNU Long-Term Care Board representative Karen Jantzen joined Official Opposition Leader Wab Kinew and Health Critic Andrew Swan for the announcement at the Manitoba Legislature.

The bill legislates minimum requirements for direct care hours per resident per day in personal care homes. Protecting direct care minimums in legislation will help seniors with chronic and complex needs receive the level of care they need, and support the nurses providing that care. The bill also calls on the Health Minister to make much needed enhancements to care hours going forward.

“Manitoba’s nurses see it every day: more direct hours of care are needed to maintain quality care for personal care home residents” said Jackson. “This legislation addresses the key recommendations we made earlier this year, which highlights the best available evidence from across North America.”

Last spring, MNU released a new report The Future of Long Term Care is Now, which addressed the nursing care needs in personal care homes. According to the report, the positive correlation between care quality, staffing levels and health outcomes is undeniable, and the evidence shows a need to move toward 4.1 direct care hours. In MNU focus group testing, nearly 60% of nurses state they do not have enough time to properly care for patients. Insufficient levels of care can increase the risk of care hazards for patients, such as falls, improper medication processing, bed sores or delayed monitoring of vital signs.

Visit manitobanurses.ca/long-term-care-report to read MNU’s report, and putpatientsfirst.ca/longtermcare to send a letter to your MLA today.

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