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

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Ucluelet receives $1M for multi-use space at Amphitrite Point

“I’m glad that we can now go public on it and I look forward to the community dialogue.”

West Coast builder earns four VIBE awards

Icon Developments owner Jamie Carson says collaboration is key.

Ucluelet dedicates off-leash dog park

“I think it’s great. Dogs need a space to run.”

Ucluelet artists launch pop-up art exhibition

Heyduck & Butler opened on July 1 and will run until August 31.

QUIZ: Put your knowledge of Canada to the test

How much do you know about our country?

Man charged in Rideau Hall crash had rifle, shotguns, high-capacity magazine: RCMP

Hurren is accused of threatening to cause death or bodily harm to the prime minister

B.C. extends income assistance exemption for COVID-19

Provincial program to match Ottawa’s CERB, student pay

Indigenous B.C. tour operator keeps culture alive through virtual journeys in COVID-19 era

Campbell River based Homalco Tours is also setting up live cameras for bear viewing in Orford

Broadway veteran Nick Cordero dies from coronavirus complications

During Cordero’s hospitalization, Kloots sent him daily videos of her and their 1-year-old son, Elvis,

Northern communities welcome tourists as province opens to in-B.C. travellers

Officials have asked British Columbians to be careful as they travel this summer

300 Cache Creek residents on evacuation alert due to flood risk as river rises

Heavy rainfall on Canada Day has river rising steadily, threatening 175 properties

Most Read