Policy and Political Action

Policy & Political Action

Act by July 31 to demand government implement the Nursing Home Basic Care Guarantee

Seventy‐nine thousand (79,000) of the province's older adults call Ontario's 626 long‐term care (LTC) facilities home and trust them to meet their physical, social, spiritual and cognitive needs on a daily basis. Tragically, COVID-19 has wreaked havoc through these homes, exposing long-standing shortcomings in the LTC system including severe understaffing and inadequatenumbers of  registered staff given the increasing acuity, the intensity of nursing care required, and complexity of residents.

On June 9, 2020 RNAO released the Nursing Home Basic Care Guarantee in response to the Long-Term Care Staffing Study Advisory, struck to address Recommendation 85 of the Gillese Inquiry into the criminal acts of a staff member that resulted in the murder of eight residents. Justice Eileen Gillese gave the government a deadline of July 31, 2020 to develop a staffing plan for long‐term care and table it in the legislature.   

While there are definitely challenges in providing holistic care to older adults due to the increasing numbers of frail elderly and their rising acuity, we know care for this population in our society can be provided in a manner that is safe, humane and client and family‐centred. RNAO urges a Nursing Home Basic Care Guarantee with a staffing formula based on evidence that builds on earlier reports and studies and addresses resident needs.

The Nursing Home Basic Care Guarantee minimum staffing formula provides no less than four (4) hours of direct nursing and personal care per resident, per day. The formula also calls to ensure the proper skill mix by allocating a minimum of:

  • 0.8 hours (48 minutes) of RN care per resident, per day, 
  • 1 hour (60 minutes) of RPN care per resident, per day and 
  • 2.2 hours (132 minutes) of PSW care per resident per day. 

Each home should have one nurse practitioner (NP) for every 120 residents and a full time registered nurse specializing in infection prevention and control.

Such an allocation would provide each resident with safe care and quality of life.

The increase in staffing to meet the guarantee must be accompanied by immediate changes in human resources policies permitting staff to work in only one LTC facility; providing wage parity with hospitals; and ensuring that full-time employment with benefits is offered to staff who want full time work to enable continuity of care for residents, improve staff retention, and remove the need to work in multiple locations.  

Premier Ford has vowed to fix the system. Let the Minister of Long-Term Care, Hon. Merrilee Fullerton, and Premier Ford know the Nursing Home Basic Care Guarantee is the necessary next step to protect Ontario seniors who call LTC home. 

Ontario’s seniors deserve nothing less.

We urge you to demand the government implement with funding, the Nursing Home Basic Care Guarantee based on the minimum staffing formula. Let Minister Fullerton, Premier Ford, and the Staffing Study Advisory know that this is next necessary step to protecting Ontario’s older adults who call LTC their home.

Copies will be sent to the following:

  • Christine Elliott, Minister of Health
  • Andrea Horwath, Leader of the Official Opposition
  • France Gelinas, ONDP Health Critic
  • Steven Del Duca, Leader of Ontario Liberal Party
  • Mike Schreiner, Leader of Ontario Green Party
  • Natalia Kusendova, MPP and Chair
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