TORONTO, ON – A 200 hour a week cut to resident care at the Wexford Residence, the Toronto nursing home where a resident was brutally killed in 2013 by another resident, poses a safety risk, warn front line staff holding a media conference this Thursday, April 9 (11:30 a.m.) at the Queen’s Park media studio.
Following the 2013 beating death of a 72-year old resident at the Wexford, registered practical nurses and personal support workers (PSW) committed to push the province to make nursing homes safer through a legislated care standard.
“We vowed we would no longer be silent about cuts that erode resident care and safety levels. That’s why we are blowing the whistle and warning that residents’ safety is in jeopardy. Care and staffing levels are already bare bones. Staff are extremely stretched. Now with the loss of 200 care hours, there is increased risk of harm and abuse for residents from other residents,” says Claudia George a PSW at the Wexford.
George has worked in long-term care for more than 30 years. During that time residents’ care needs and age have increased “tremendously,” she says, but care levels have not. “We want the health minister to better protect residents, stop these cuts and invest in more care for residents.”
Joining George at Thursday’s media conference is Tom Carrothers with the Family Council (Network 4) and Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Ontario secretary-treasurer Candace Rennick.
Ontario has lower care and staffing levels than other provinces. It is not uncommon to have one PSW to 15-20 residents and 24-30 residents per floor on overnight, says Rennick. “There is an abundance of evidence linking higher staffing levels with better quality and safer care. It’s time our provincial government made resident care and safety a priority by legislating a four hour a day care standard.”
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