B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry update the effort to contain COVID-19, B.C. legislature, April 29, 2020. (B.C. government)

COVID-19: B.C. halfway to goal of single-site jobs for care home staff

Including mental health facilities, 7,350 were working multiple sites

B.C.’s health ministry, employers and unions are past the half-way point of a massive staff reorganization that ends part-time work for senior care aides at multiple sites, Health Minister Adrian Dix says.

Staff movement has been a source of infection outbreaks in the COVID-19 pandemic, with the earliest and deadliest senior home outbreaks in North Vancouver and Vancouver traced to part-time employees. Dix announced April 9 that the policy would be imposed province-wide, with an estimated payroll cost of $10 million a month to provide stable employment for care aides.

Dix reported April 30 that the half-way point has been reached, for a task that has reached beyond senior care homes. He said it involves 45,000 employees at long-term care, assisted living, private hospitals and mental health facilities.

“Of those 45,000 employees, there are or were 7,350 employees who had jobs at multiple facilities,” Dix said, adding that there are 545 facilities that host multi-facility employees in all of B.C.’s regional health authorities.

So far 276 of those facilities have implemented their “single-site plan” for employees, Dix said, 43 in Interior Health, 40 in Fraser Health, 103 in Vancouver Coastal Health, 64 in Island Health and 26 in Northern Health.

Quebec has followed B.C.’s lead in stabilizing staff after a crisis in senior care homes, with novel coronavirus infections in more than 500 of them and some abandoned by staff. Canadian Armed Forces personnel have been called in to do cleaning and other jobs at Quebec care facilities.

RELATED: Hints of broadening social circles as COVID-19 declines

RELATED: Poison control sees spike in disinfectant exposure calls

Doctors, nurses, pharmacists and lab technicians continue to be allowed to work in multiple facilities, which have increased cleaning and sharply restricted visitors to prevent further infections among high-risk residents and patients.

Dix and Seniors Advocate Isobel Mackenzie have pushed for improved working conditions for care aides, where there was a chronic shortage of skilled help before the coronavirus pandemic.

In B.C., the changes are being made “within the existing blended service delivery model of health-authority owned and operated, affiliates and private providers,” accommodating employee preferences in where they work as far as possible, Dix said April 9. “And it ensures that all of them receive an equitable wage and scheduling stability so they can work at a single site without financial hardship or patient service disruption.”


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

Morning start: Rossland is named after this person

Here is your Kootenays’ morning start for Friday, May 22

Snow expected to hit West Kootenay passes overnight on Thursday

Up to 15 cm of snow could fall on Highway 3 between Paulson summit to Kootenay Pass by Friday morning

Construction for New Denver child care centre on time and on budget

The child care centre is set to open on September 8 at Lucerne Elementary School

Creston flour mills overwhelmed by COVID-19 demand

Flour shortage highlights region’s grain insecurity

LIVE: Procession to honour Snowbirds Capt. Jennifer Casey comes to Halifax

Snowbirds service member died in a crash in Kamloops one week ago

RCMP facing ‘systemic sustainability challenges’ due to provincial policing role

Provinces, territories and municipalities pay anywhere from 70 to 90 per cent of the cost of the RCMP’s services

One man dead after standoff with Chilliwack RCMP

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the RCMP’s role in the death

B.C. employers worry about safety, cash flow, second wave in COVID-19 restart

A survey found 75 per cent of businesses worry about attracting customers

Ex-BC Greens leader Andrew Weaver says province came close to early election

Disagreement centred on the LNG Canada project in northern B.C.

Canada’s NHL teams offer options to season-ticket holders

Canadian teams are offering refunds, but also are pushing a number of incentives to let them keep the money

B.C. premier says lessons to learn from past racism during response to pandemic

B.C. formally apologized in the legislature chamber in 2008 for its role in the Komagata Maru tragedy

Snowbirds to remain at Kamloops Airport indefinitely after fatal crash

small contingent of the Snowbirds team is staying in Kamloops, acting as stewards of the jets

Oak Bay man stumbles upon eagle hunting seal, grabs camera just in time

The eagle did ‘a perfect butterfly stroke to shore’ with its prey, photographer says

Most Read