TORONTO: The Ontario government is launching one of the largest recruitment and training drives in the province’s history to deliver on its commitment to improving care for seniors in long-term care homes.
The province released its long-term care staffing plan that sets out actions to hire more staff, improve working conditions for existing staff, drive effective and accountable leadership, and implement retention strategies.
Details were provided this week at George Brown College’s Waterfront Campus by Premier Doug Ford, Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Long-Term Care, and Effie Triantafilopoulos, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Long-Term Care.
“We want more people working in long-term care to love what they do and thrive in their careers,” said Premier Ford.
“That’s why our new staffing plan will pursue innovative partnerships, like the one between George Brown College and the Rekai Centres.”
The 2020 Ontario budget commits to increase hours of daily direct care to an average of four hours per day for each long-term care resident, the new staffing plan focuses on six key areas to be delivered over four years:
• Investing up to $1.9 billion annually by 2024-25 to create more than 27,000 new positions for personal support workers, registered nurses and registered practical nurses in long-term care; in addition, providing a 20 percent increase in direct care time administered by other health care professionals such as physiotherapists and social workers.
• Accelerating and expanding education and training pathways in order to prepare and train the tens of thousands of new staff that will be required.
• Supporting continued professional development and growth of long-term care staff.
• Improving working conditions for staff by coordinating with long-term care employers to increase full-time employment and promote innovative approaches to work and technology.
• Driving effective leadership in homes across the province to improve oversight, guidance and medical outcomes.
• Measuring progress against key performance indicators.
“This plan will make long-term care a better place for residents to live, and a better place for staff to work,” said Minister Fullerton.
“Our plan is to solve the longstanding and systemic challenges the sector has faced after decades of neglect and underfunding.”