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Adequate staffing levels, better utilization of the nursing team and increased funding will markedly improve the quality of health care provided to residents at Cottonwoods Extended Care in Kelowna, says the Hospital Employees’ Union (CUPE). The union is working with the Interior Health Authority and Cottonwoods’ administration in the review of patient care after media reports - including those in today’s Kelowna Daily Courier - have drawn attention to the state of care at the


“Patient care would improve immediately if the whole nursing team Care Aides, Licensed Practical Nurses, rehabilitation assistants and many others - were more fully utilized and staffing levels increased,” says HEU Kelowna local chairperson and Cottonwoods’ Care Aide Maureen Shepherd. “We are looking at the factors that contribute to the quality of care at Cottonwoods with the management and the health authority and will be advocating, as we have in the past, for the best use of resources for better patient care.”

Shepherd says that caregivers are broken-hearted over their inability to provide the care and services they believe Cottonwoods’ residents deserve because of funding limitations and reduced staffing levels.

“Staff are run off their feet trying to look after the basic needs of residents,” says Shepherd.

Cottonwoods is a 276-bed extended care facility with a mix of services to provide support and care to the frail elderly. Services include re-activation/convalescent, respite and palliative care.


Margi Blamey, communications officer,
604-456-7094 in Burnaby
Maureen Shepherd, HEU Kelowna local chairperson,
250-764-2563 in Kelowna