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Tbnewswatch Local News
Monday May 25 2015
11:35 PM EDT
2014-01-13 at 16:11

Status quo

Rhonda Crocker-Ellacott, vice-president, patient care, health professions, and chief nursing executive says the emergency room will continue to be staffed at present levels.
Leith Dunick,
Rhonda Crocker-Ellacott, vice-president, patient care, health professions, and chief nursing executive says the emergency room will continue to be staffed at present levels.
By Leith Dunick,

The head of patient care at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre says the hospital’s emergency room will continue to be staffed at present levels, despite reports of department cuts.

Rhonda Crocker-Ellacott on Monday said two years ago the hospital created a nursing resource team whose members shift from department to department, including the emergency room.

For budget reasons, these nurses dedicated to the emergency department will be allocated to other parts of the hospital going forward.

Crocker Ellacott said the nursing resource team already contains 10.3 positions dedicated to the emergency department.

“This is not about losing staff positions. This is really about redistributing positions within an organization. So there are no fewer nurses tomorrow than there are today. There are 23 nurses, for example today in the (emergency) department. There will be the same number of nurses tomorrow. There is no impact to care at all,” Crocker-Ellacott said.

“This is really about creating a more responsive plan that will really enable us to provide a better solution to episodic care needs, especially in the emergency department. It’s a good solution. It’s better for care. Nobody loses their job, nobody is laid off.”

On Dec. 31, hospital officials sent a memo to the Ontario Nurses Association, a notice of elimination of positions.

The memo, citing the union contract agreement, said it was a “notice of the elimination of 5.6 FTE (full-time equivalent) of positions in the emergency department.”

The eliminations were to be realized through attrition and were “due to budgetary restraints.”

Crocker-Ellacott said it was unfortunate that staff arrived at work on Monday fearing the worst.

“We also don’t want our public to believe that they’ll be any changes to care. In fact, if we have any opportunities, we want to continue to invest in our emergency department. This is our first line with the community, so we do not want the community to think at all that there will be any changes to that care,” she said.

“All of that direct care staff will remain the same.”

The ONA was contacted for comment, but said they were unable to speak to the issue until later in the week.

Crocker-Ellacott said it’s still up in the air what will happen with funding through the Northwest Local Health Integration Network that covers an additional 1.5 emergency room nursing staff members.

The pay-for-performance dollars are always temporary and the funding expires on March 31. Union officials were notified as per the hospital’s contractual obligation that the positions were ending, though Crocker-Ellacott said the funding might be renewed.

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elare says:
So they're eliminating 5.6 FTE in the ER but there will be no reduction in nursing in the ER? Someone please explain to me how that's even possible.

It will be achieved through attrition - to me that says "less staff". In this article Ms. Crocker-Ellacott says this is due to budgetary restrictions. In today's Chronicle-Journal she claims that TBRHSC plans on hiring more nurses.

Maybe someone needs to start telling the truth.
1/14/2014 11:13:36 AM
cityisgreat says:
It amazes me the number of people who continue to refer to the Sunshine list and "bloated Management salaries". what people fail to realize is that this hospital is a 350 million dollar business. do you really want to pay them less then what a comparable private sector enterprise would be paying? if so good luck with health care..maybe the union bosses (who yes..check their salaries, out can do a better job...) Choke choke
simple solutions very rarely yield results.
1/13/2014 11:07:38 PM
ozone says:
Why not fix the budget shortfall by correcting some of the staggering salaries paid to the management, VP's and CEO of the thunder Bay Regional Health Science Centre?

Check the annual sunshine list for our local hospital and the numbers will leave you shaking your head.

Put the health care money where it is needed not to fatten up swollen management salaries.
1/13/2014 9:20:27 PM
dynamiter says:
This so reminds me of the guys you used to see at the carnivals. They had 3 walnut shells with a pea underneath one and with the slight of hand you had to remember under which shell the pea was located. Only the pea wasnt under any of them as the carnie had palmed it.

Ever since we have had these LHIN's - Billie and Mikie have been announcing money for one thing or another and it is the old pea under a shell trick.

Try this - set up an urgent care or some other upscale walk-in clinic complete with Xray. Even let it be owned and operated by doctors if they like. Divert all but the most serious patients to the urgent care. This will stop having the halls lined with patients waiting to get into a long term facility ( if such an urgent care is set up with enough space). Emergency should only be for emergency and not for sniffles, and minor cuts and scrapes. Spend our tax dollars more wisely.
1/13/2014 8:03:16 PM
cm punk says:
Maybe check the salaries of the top heavy administration of the hospital.
That would be a good start.
1/13/2014 7:56:52 PM
Ranma says:
I am pretty sure if they actually started fining people for smoking on hospital property, they would easily find their missing funding. Until then, just keep showing us how much of a boondogle this hospital is.
1/13/2014 7:04:12 PM
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