The B.C. Nurses' Union has thrown another punch in a battle over staff organization at the Nanaimo Regional General Hospital, by filing a Freedom of Information request to its own employer.
BCNU members are accusing Vancouver Island Health Authority of "stonewalling" nurses who have been asking for information showing how the staffing changes in NRGH this Sept. will affect patient care.
BCNU president Debra McPherson says the VIHA's "Care Delivery Model Redesign" will replace 26 registered nurse's positions with lesser-qualified care aides, but the VIHA denies any layoffs are being made.
"So far VIHA has stonewalled all requests to release studies and data, so we want to know whether they're hiding something or have failed to evaluate whether these changes pose a risk to patients," McPherson said in a statement.
"When nurses and the public are kept in the dark about patient safety impacts, that sets our alarm bells off."
The BCNU has requested all summary reports, documents and analysis relating to the staffing changes and the impact it may have on patients.
VIHA spokeswoman Suzanne Germain confirmed the FOI request was received and said it will be replied to within the legislated timelines.
Germain said, starting Sept. 13, RNs will use their skills for more complex jobs whereas care aides will deal with simpler tasks like bathing patients and helping them get mobile.
She added that not only are no layoffs being made, but job postings for RN positions at NRGH were recently put up.
CMcKenna@nanaimodailynews.com 250-729-4230 " We want to hear from you.
Send comments on this story to firstname.lastname@example.org. Letters must include daytime phone number and hometown.
© Copyright 2013