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

Wildsight Golden prepares for GET WILD! summer camps

The day camps will limit enrollement to ten campers and will practice social distancing

Revelstoke woman finds welcoming letter on her Alberta-registered truck

There have been multiple reports online of vandalism to vehicles with Alberta licence plates

Possible Kermode Bear spotted near Castlegar

A local resident spotted the white-coloured bear while on an evening trail run on May 27

Pregnant Revelstoke woman catches COVID-19 days before giving birth

Michelle Hunter said the ordeal was like a horror movie

11 new COVID-19 cases in B.C. as top doc urges caution amid ‘encouraging’ low rates

Dr. Bonnie Henry also announced that two care home outbreaks would be declared over

Surrey mayor’s party under fire for ‘sickening’ tweet accusing northern B.C. RCMP of murder

Mayor Doug McCallum says tweet, Facebook post ‘sent out by unauthorized person’

Father’s Day Walk Run for prostate cancer will be virtual event this year throughout B.C.

The annual fundraiser for Prostate Cancer Foundation BC has brought in $2.5 million since 1999

Dr. Bonnie Henry announces official ban on overnight kids’ camps this summer

New ban comes after talking with other provincial health officials across the country, Henry says

Senior man in hospital after unprovoked wolf attack near Prince Rupert

Conservation officers are on site looking for the wolf

VIDEO: NASA astronauts blast off into space on SpaceX rocket

Marks NASA’s first human spaceflight launched from U.S. soil in nearly a decade

‘I knew what he wanted’: Man recalls black bear chasing him up tree in Slocan Valley

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

PHOTOS: U.S. cities brace for increasing unrest over police killing of George Floyd

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz has fully mobilized the state’s National Guard

Update: Deceased suspect in West Kootenay gas station stabbing only in town two weeks

Police say the 30-year-old suspect stabbed a Montrose gas station employee

Most Read