Brantford Community Healthcare Registered Nurses Call for an Independent Review of Patient Safety

March 18, 2024

BRANTFORD, ON, March 18, 2024 – After repeatedly raising extremely serious concerns about patient safety and registered nurse (RN) staffing levels, RNs at Brantford Community Healthcare have called in an Independent Assessment Committee (IAC) to investigate issues in the hospital's emergency department.

“Nurses are alarmed for the safety of their acutely ill and unstable patients,” says Ontario Nurses’ Association President Erin Ariss, RN. “Access to safe and timely care is being delayed due to ongoing and unsafe RN staffing levels. Over the past three years, this hospital has repeatedly failed to ensure the required RN resources to support nurses in providing patients with the best care possible – the care patients deserve, and the College of Nurses of Ontario stipulates that RNs provide.”

Ariss says that RNs have consistently provided written documentation to this employer outlining the effects of inadequate RN staffing levels and the negative impact on patient care for this complex and susceptible population. These patients are more likely to require specialized nursing care, and the lack of RN staffing contributes to an unsafe work environment, potentially putting patients at risk.

“Nurses have been raising their concerns for more than three years, and the hospital has failed to resolve these serious issues,” says Ariss. “Both patient health and the ability of RNs to meet their professional standards are on the line. RNs must be able to meet the standards set by their regulatory college or risk their ability to practice.”

The hearing begins on March 19 and runs for three days. An IAC is a panel of three independent RN experts who assess and analyze the professional responsibility and workload issues raised by nurses, who will provide evidence of the negative impacts of inadequate staffing on patient care. The panel evaluates the evidence, determines whether RNs are being assigned more work than is consistent with the provision of proper patient care, and make recommendations to address concerns. Calling an IAC is the most severe step ONA can take to address concerns and is a last resort.

ONA is the union representing over 68,000 Registered Nurses and Healthcare professionals, as well as 18,000 nursing student affiliates, providing care in hospitals, long-term care, public health, the community, clinics, and industry.


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