This reprints an In-Sights article first published January 10, 2010. It deserves review because of the Granny Napping article published here April 4, 2011. I have already had a number of private messages applauding the spotlight cast on this issue and recounting more horror stories.
Paul Willcocks’ blog Paying Attention published Seniors’ care recommendations snubbed by government. He discusses a report by the independent Ombudsperson, which provides evidence that the BC Liberal pre-election promise to protect healthcare was not sincere.
Read the entire article by clicking the link above. It includes:
…But the latest report on seniors’ care in B.C. — and the government’s reaction to it — should alarm people looking into residential care for themselves or a family member.
…Ombudsperson Kim Carter heard more and more complaints and concerns about seniors’ care in B.C. The office launched a provincewide investigation and delivered its first report just before Christmas.
It was grim. And the government’s response was discouraging…
…Once seniors have landed in a home, it’s unclear to them and their families what rights they have or what they should do if they believe care is substandard. They’re reluctant to raise concerns, in case that brings reprisals.
And there is no effective process that lets the government monitor legitimate complaints and ensure they are being addressed…
Don’t expect the Liberals to provide a legitimate complaint process any time soon because major changes will soon affect extended care throughout British Columbia. Already troubled service to seniors is about to be further degraded.
Positions for Registered Nurses at Evergreen House, the residential care facility for seniors at Lions Gate Hospital, are being eliminated. Licensed Practical Nurses are to replace more highly qualified RNs and the plan calls for 1/3 fewer staff positions.
Reducing the number of staff and their qualification level will result in less effective patient care. Since they are mostly disabled and powerless, lucky patients will have family members to serve as care advocates. The others fall through widening gaps in our social safety net.
Media relations officer Anna Maria D’Angelo says Vancouver Coastal Health has embarked in a project that will see the introduction of “LPN nurse practitioners” into Evergreen House. She says, “There may be RNs displaced in this process in the future, but it is inappropriate to comment further at this time.”
Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) can be certified after a 12 month community college course. Registered Nurses (RN) are eligible for practice after completing a four year university degree. Nurse Practitioners (NP) compliment traditional hospital and physician services, particularly in rural and remote communities. They are qualified by RN licensure and a graduate degree offered in British Columbia by UBC, UVic or UNBC.
Vancouver Coastal Health is carelessly using the term “nurse practitioner.” LPNs are not qualified to use that term. That has been confirmed by a representative of the BC Nurse Practitioner Association. It was also disingenuous to say, “There may be RNs displaced. . . ” since staff had already been notified of displacement.
Other British Columbia seniors’ care facilities are being forced to downgrade medical staff qualifications and coverage because of inadequate funding.
This will help us afford $600+ million to refit BC Place stadium for the convenience of the BC Lions, the Vancouver Whitecaps and a gambling concern pleasing to BC Liberal insiders.
Jan 15/10 Update:
Victoria Times Colonist writer and blogger Jody Paterson provide: Seniors face huge care cost increases.
They’ve gone after children, poor people and seniors. What is the next vulnerable group to attack?