Re: Shift in nursing care ill-advised, Nov. 1 letters.
I am writing in response to a letter from BCNU president Debra McPherson regarding ongoing changes in staffing at Peace Arch Hospital’s residential care units.
McPherson claims a reduction in the number of registered nurses (RNs) at that site, which is offset by a greater increase in the number of licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and care aids, is a move designed to save Fraser Health money.
The change in staffing that McPherson refers to is part of a new care-delivery model introduced at all Fraser Health residential-care sites over the past 18 months. The purpose of the new model is not to achieve costs savings but to improve care. In fact, Fraser Health has invested an additional $24 million in residential care over the past two years in support of the new model.
The new model ensures every individual residing in a complex-care facility anywhere in Fraser Health will receive the appropriate level of service. At some residential-care sites – including Weatherby and Dr. Hogg pavilions at Peace Arch Hospital – this has meant a reduction in the number of RN positions and an increase in LPN positions. Fraser Health is reducing the number of RNs at this site by eight positions and is adding 13 LPNs and additional care aides.
RNs continue to play an important role in residential care, completing complex clinical assessment, working with families and focusing on activities such as medication reviews and care planning.
We are confident that the end result will be better care for the residents who call Weatherby and Dr. Hogg pavilions home.
Heather Cook, executive director, Residential Care Fraser Health
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Re: PAH nursing cutbacks not about money: Fraser Health, Nov. 1.
I am concerned these cutbacks/rearrangements will adversely affect my mother’s care.
She is currently in a vulnerable mode; even now it’s hard to maintain care continuity between shifts.
The permanent RNs provide the steadying continuity with the LPNs and RCAs, but with the RNs taking on additional workload – more patients – that continuity will suffer, in my view.
Who will talk to the doctor and provide the liaison to the staff and the patients’ loved ones?
Ron Powell, White Rock