Secretive plan to replace nurses with care aides spreading across BC
BCNU has learned that Island Health is actively trying to export its controversial Care Delivery Model Redesign (CDMR) to other health authorities, despite not having subjected the model to an independent risk assessment of its patient safety impacts.
At an unknown date, and for an unspecified amount of money, Island Health (in partnership with Fraser, Northern and Providence health authorities) entered into a contract with Impact BC, a quasi-non-governmental organization, to create a Structured Learning Collaborative to train people in CDMR at sixty hospital units.
The contract is identified on Impact BC’s website, but those wanting to know more are provided a link to Island Health’s website for more information – however no such information is readily apparent and a search of the site using “Impact BC” does not produce any results.
“We are launching a second Freedom of Information request to unearth the actual contract Island Health has quietly signed in order to disseminate its risky care model to other health authorities,” says BCNU President Debra McPherson. “Taxpayers have a right to know how Island Health spends scarce resources and what services they’re buying with this buried contract.”
“I’m incensed at Island Health’s total lack of transparency in implementing and distributing a care model that downgrades patient safety,” says McPherson. “They have no business attempting to export such a risky approach to patient care when they’ve provided no evidence that it is safe for patients.”
Nurses have criticized Island Health for declining to release studies evaluating the safety of a care model replacing professional nurses with unlicensed care aides. Island Health has yet to even acknowledge that replacement of nurses by care aides is the key mechanism of CDMR, and as recently as last week, Island Health President Dr. Brendan Carr stated that LPNs and care aides are being added to nursing teams.
“Notices served on the BCNU by Island Health clearly show RNs and LPNs being replaced by care aides, full stop,” says McPherson. “In fact, LPNs are being removed entirely from the affected medical units, so saying they’re being added is either woefully ignorant or misleading.”
“Secret contracts, misleading statements, lack of risk assessment – it’s all very concerning to those who care about patient safety and effective hospital care,” says McPherson.