Policy and Political Action

Policy & Political Action

We cannot wait - hire more LTC staff beginning August 2020

We urge the Minister of Long-Term Care, Merrilee Fullerton, to immediately direct nursing homes to hire personal support workers, registered nurses, registered practical nurses and nurse practitioners ahead of the second wave of COVID-19, which will coincide with the coming Influenza season. 

The Ford government’s recent Long-Term Care Staffing Study Report provides recommendations within five priority areas to improve staffing across the sector, however falls short of the Nursing Home Basic Care Guarantee. RNAO has outlined these shortfalls in our response.

The staffing study report outlines the same issues within the LTC sector as highlighted in decades of reports. What is needed to ensure necessary change is a commitment from the government to hire more staff for LTC immediately, now that we are moving into mid-August.

RNAO supports the reports identification of a minimum staffing complement to provide four worked hours of direct nursing and personal care per resident, per day, however, missing from the report recommendations are the necessary skill-mix composition of those four hours, leaving residents, families and staff to the will of operators. RNAO will continue to call for the full implementation of the Nursing Home Basic Care Guarantee as the only way forward to guarantee a proper skill mix as follows:

  • 0.8 hours (48 minutes) of RN care per resident, per 24 hours
  • 1 hour (60 minutes) of RPN care per resident, per 24 hours
  • 2.2 hours (132 minutes) of PSW care per resident, per 24 hours

RNAO is also calling on government to fund each LTC home for one NP per 120 residents, in the role of attending NP or director of clinical care; as well as one additional nursing full‐time equivalent (FTE) staff (preferably an RN) to support the functions of infection prevention and control and quality improvement.

Close to 2,000 nursing home residents died during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in Ontario - we cannot let this happen again. Protect Ontario's LTC residents by hiring staff beginning August.

RNAO also urges the Ontario government to immediately direct all nursing homes in Ontario to reunite residents with their loved ones, including those in nursing homes experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak. This call [insert link] is driven by the need to address a basic human right, physical and mental issues resulting from separation, and also to provide the foundational person- and family-centred care that is critical to quality of life for LTC residents and their families. 

By signing this action alert, you are demanding the Ontario government take action to protect its most vulnerable seniors. Let Minister Fullerton and Premier Ford know they must immediately hire more LTC staff, fully implement the Nursing Home Basic Care Guarantee, and reunite families.

Copies will be sent to the following:

  • Doug Ford, Premier
  • 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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