Recruiting still an issue in long-term care

·2 min read

BRUCE COUNTY – “If the human beings aren’t available … it’s not going to do us a whole lot of good.”

The comment was made by County Coun. Luke Charbonneau during a recent meeting of Bruce County’s human resources committee.

Megan Garland, director of long-term care and senior services, presented a brief report on the four hours of direct care and allied health professional hours being mandated by the province for implementation in both of the county’s long-term care homes.

Her report called for a staffing increase at Brucelea Haven of one full-time and one part-time RPN, and one full-time and one part-time PSW, as well as one full-time infection control and staff development lead, one part-time RAI (resident assessment) backup, and increased social worker hours. At Gateway Haven, the increase will be similar, with one full-time and one part-time PSW, as well as other additional hours.

This will bring both homes close to the provincial goal of 3.15 hours (3.14 for Brucelea and 3.12 for Gateway), she said.

Charbonneau commented on the difficulty recruiting, and Garland agreed it was a challenge.

“We need to get people into the training programs and we need to move them forward … it’s anticipated we’d still have unfilled lines,” said Garland.

County Coun. Chris Peabody said he’d like a report at the September meeting on what’s being done regarding recruiting, “similar to what Michael Barrett (South Bruce Grey Health Centre CEO) produced in response to our lobbying.”

Warden Janice Jackson said the retention component was just as important as the recruiting.

The “seventh wave” of the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a number of outbreaks at area long-term care homes.

Brucelea Haven declared an outbreak, now over, on July 20. At one point a total of 16 residents and nine staff were affected.

Andrew Litt has accepted the position of environmental manager at Gateway Haven and started on June 28.

Katie Cuillerier has accepted the position of director of nursing at Gateway Haven, effective Aug. 15.

PrimaCare Living Solution continues to fill the role of administrator of Gateway Haven, while active recruiting efforts for the position continue.

Pauline Kerr, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Walkerton Herald Times