BELLEVILLE, March 4, 2015 – QHC and its union partners have now begun the staff planning process for the remaining proposed changes to close QHC’s funding gap for its 2015/16 fiscal year.
Meetings between QHC and union leaders from ONA, OPSEU, SEIU and Unifor were held over the last two days. During these meetings, QHC provided detailed information on the proposed changes and how they impact staff at the four hospitals. Union leaders are then given a few weeks to provide suggestions on how the plans could be altered to help minimize the impact to individuals.
These proposed changes are in response to reduced provincial funding for Quinte Health Care. Four years ago, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care implemented a new funding formula to help create a more sustainable health care system and address the provincial deficit situation. Every year, Quinte Health Care must become more efficient and reduce costs in order to operate within the funding we receive and to cover any inflationary increases. QHC has removed $20 million in costs over the past three years to remain financially healthy, while continuing to meet its quality and patient safety goals.
“While we support the new funding formula as the right long-term solution for our health care system, we also appreciate that these changes can be extremely difficult for everyone at QHC,” said Mary Clare. “As always, our goal is to manage this as much as possible through avenues like attrition, retirements and reassignment opportunities where applicable so that we can minimize the number of our valued staff members who need to leave QHC involuntarily,” said Mary Clare Egberts, President & CEO. If the proposed changes for 2015/16 are fully implemented, the unions would be given layoff notices for a total of 39 positions. Our first step to mitigate the impact on individuals is to extend offers of early exit and retirement packages in the affected areas.
As announced last Friday, QHC will receive additional funding from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care to help close the remaining financial gap for the 2015/16 fiscal year. “This funding provides us the time we need to work with our staff, physicians and communities and find the right long-term solutions for health care delivery in our communities,” said Mary Clare. “For staff, this means that we do not expect to undertake another staff planning for the 2015/16 fiscal year.”
Key Proposed Changes for 2015/16
Inter-Professional Model of Care
There will be a shift towards a more team-based model of patient care across all of QHC’s hospitals. This means that Registered Nurses (RNs) will have a larger role in care planning; discharge planning; patient and family teaching and counseling. Registered Practical Nurses will care for appropriate patients within their level of training and expertise, which includes patients with more complex needs. More Personal support workers (PSWs) will be available to help patients with their activities of daily living and mobility. Physicians, allied health professionals, and other team members are also be included in meeting the patient and family’s needs. This change will mean reduced numbers of RNs in the organization, but patients will receive more direct care hours through the added RPN and PSW support.
As previously announced, the South East LHIN is funding a 20 bed Behavioural Support Transition Unit (BSTU) at BGH as a South East LHIN regional resource
Reducing beds at BGH based on streamlining patient flow; opening of the BSTU; and reduced utilization of paediatric beds. This also includes reducing inpatient surgical beds to implement an enhanced model for pre-surgical assessment and a surgical short-stay unit
Administration and Support
- Efficiencies across numerous support and administrative areas, in some cases through staff scheduling changes; removing vacant positions; or reducing the number of positions (e.g., Materials Management, Infection Control, Professional Practice, Security, Health Records, Information Services)
Staffing changes and more efficient workflow in Housekeeping, Maintenance and Food Services at BGH and TMH to be consistent with similar hospitals
- Ensuring appropriate utilization of drugs, imaging and lab tests through a “Choosing Wisely” campaign
- Reduced positions in management and clerical that were announced in December
Quinte Health Care has 1,800 staff members and 320 medical staff who provide a wide range of high quality health care services to a region of 160,000 residents. Care is provided through four hospitals – QHC Belleville General Hospital, QHC North Hastings Hospital, QHC Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital and QHC Trenton Memorial Hospitals – and includes inpatient services, four emergency departments, operating rooms at three sites, a rehabilitation day hospital, children's treatment centre, ambulatory care clinics, community mental health programs and a range of diagnostic services.
Senior Director of Communications
Quinte Health Care
(613) 969-7400, ext. 2331