I'd suggest a visit to Sarah Hoffman's constituency--Somehow such direct democratic action seems to result in immediate action by the health minister and others in the executive body. Now if there is such direct action as well as #MediaAttention and #SocialMediaChangesEverything I'm guessing the retribution that resulted in mass firings at this facility will be reversed pronto. This is just a feeling I have.
The mutual admiration society of the health minister and the big wigs in Sundre is amusing. This is after the long term care beds were lobbied for by the MLA for the area-Jason Nixon and the other advocacy groups of the Friends of Medicare and the AUPE folks. Nice to see everyone knows that they better be pleasant and praise the Minister who was responsible for the losses of the long term care beds in the first place:
Health minister praises Sundre regarding hospital
Sarah Hoffman hopeful community engagement will become provincial model
Monday, Jan 23, 2017 06:00 am
By: Simon Ducatel
- Alberta Health Minister Sarah Hoffman.
- Alberta government
Alberta’s minister of health is hopeful the successful community engagement in Sundre regarding plans for the local hospital will become the foundation for future collaboration with communities throughout the province.
In a letter written in response to correspondence sent from local municipal officials last September, Sarah Hoffman also expressed her gratitude to the community for proactively being a part of the extensive process to save long-term care beds at the local hospital while providing new levels of care not previously available.
“As you are aware, the engagement process included meetings with representatives from the Town of Sundre and the Sundre Hospital Futures Committee to address the health needs at the Sundre Hospital and Care Centre,” she wrote.
“We also consulted with physicians, families and citizens to adopt a Sundre-focused solution. We hope that this engagement model can be used with other communities across Alberta.”
The minister further went on to emphasize that “this success story would not have been possible without the council and community’s support and proactive involvement…I encourage the council and community to remain involved in the process and help us continue to make the system work, or improve, for all communities in the province.”
Hoffman also included a personally handwritten addition to the printed letter with Alberta Health’s letterhead that expressed the minister’s appreciation to the municipality “for being such a positive partner focused on a win-win. I am proud of what we accomplished together.”
Mayor Terry Leslie told the Round Up last Thursday that he has a deep respect for Minister Hoffman, whom he described as receptive.
“I’m very appreciative of the audience we got with the minister of health — twice — with representatives from our community,” he said.
The mayor also expressed pride for the community leaders and volunteers who stepped up and devoted their time to the cause.
“Wouldn’t it be nice if we resolved every issue like that!”
Also playing an important role in the process was MLA Jason Nixon, who voiced the community’s concerns to the provincial government when Alberta Health Services announced last March its original intent to shut down all the hospital’s 15 long-term care beds, he said.
“Without his help, we never would have had that audience with the minister. It was truly a remarkably collaborative effort that led to real change.”
Many others — including Sundre Hospital Futures Committee chair Gerald Ingeveld — were also part of the behind-the-scenes effort to save five long-term care beds at the hospital, he said.
“We came up with solutions for the future that would provide better services to the community,” said the mayor, who was glad that common ground could be established with the minister and her department.
“That says a great deal for that minister and the work that she’s trying to do to support the health-care needs of people in Alberta.”http://www.friendsofmedicare.org/wodak_sundre
Guest Blog - What's Happening in Sundre?
Posted by Margot Howe 105.60sc on March 27, 2016
What's happening in Sundre?
Carol Wodak, March 27, 2016
Note: We're pleased to feature a guest blog post from respected elder care advocate Carol Wodak. Carol is a valuable resource on issues and information relating to continuing care, and has put together some facts and her perspective on what's happening with the closure of 15 publicly delivered long-term care spaces in Sundre, while seeing the opening of a supportive living facility operated privately by Mountain View Seniors' Housing.
Mountain View Seniors’ Housing is a non-profit organization, and a registered charity, operating seniors’ lodges, seniors’ self-contained apartments and subsidized family housing in Carstairs, Sundre, Olds and Didsbury By 2012, MVSH submitted a plan to the Alberta government’s ASLI program, as a consequence of identifying the need for more seniors’ care in the Sundre area, including assisted living and long-term care. At that time, Sundre Hospital and Care Centre had 15 long-term care beds, and the Foothills Lodge had 43 residents.
By 2014, MVSH was awarded a $3.8 million Affordable Supportive Living Initiative (ASLI) capital grant for a 103 bed facility which would consist of 40 level 4 and 4D supportive living units, 45 level 1 and 2 lodge units to replace Foothills Lodge, and 18 independent living “life lease” units, similar to a project in Olds. MVSH had approved $26.6 million from Life Lease sales and with financing to provide the estimated construction costs. By 2015, the federal government had added Investment in Affordable Housing funding to bring the total public investment to $8,232,000 for the 103-bed facility. The facility was expected to open in 2016.
Meanwhile, the Alberta Progressive Conservative government had been systematically shifting long term care from nursing home facilities to a new model called, at that time, “Designated Assisted Living” and now “Designated Supportive Living”, and the New Democrat opposition had been roundly condemning wholesale displacement of persons assessed as needing the higher level of care.
In an article in the 04 May 2010 Tofield Mercury, NDP MLA Rachel Notley said “charges that the government plans to 'move people out of hospital beds into private for profit beds where they receive less care and pay more for it: that's wrong."… the waiting lists for those fragile Albertans needing long term care is not being addressed. "Albertans are waiting up to two years for long term care and this government has shut down beds," she said. "A lack of long term care beds means seniors will be faced with one of three options: (1) not getting the care they need; (2) staying in acute care hospital beds, or (3) paying exorbitant fees at supportive living facilities."
They have consistently ignored the results of the 2006 million-dollar Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research study [on behalf of Alberta Health and Wellness] about the health outcomes of seniors cared for in nursing homes and in supportive or assisted living facilities.
Fast forward to March 8, 2016, when radio station rock104 reported Council Learns Of AHS Plans To Decommission 15 Sundre Hospital Long Term Care Beds.
“…There was a big announcement made by Alberta Health Services at the Monday, March 7th town council meeting.
AHS is going to decommission the 15 long term care beds at Sundre Hospital with the construction of the new Mountain View Seniors Housing facility in Sundre, according to Mayor Terry Leslie.
He adds there are 15 long term care beds in the Sundre Hospital and those residents will see a change in care.
Mayor Leslie says they are looking forward for ongoing community meetings to try and make the transition as easy as possible for patients affected and make sure resident care into the future is going to be the paramount focus.
He adds there is a contract to provide service not in long term care but in supportive living care at the new facility. So he calls it a change in the way care will be provided to seniors…”
Closure of the LTC beds was not an AHS decision. The LTC beds in the Sundre Hospital were registered as an Auxiliary Hospital. According to the OPERATION OF APPROVED HOSPITALS REGULATION Alberta Regulation 247/1990 “Every hospital shall require prior approval of the Minister for a) any proposed major change or termination of an existing service provided by the hospital ...”
This was a decision made without any consultation with the community, and the community is very concerned about the loss of the LTC beds. AHS is now planning consultations to determine future use of the hospital space
The current NDP government is on record over a long period of time, in 2012, NDP MLA David Eggen compared the closure of the long term care facility in Carmangay to “domestic abuse” at a rally to protest Premier Redford’s decision. Also in 2012, Premier Rachel Notley commented that the Tory plan to limit LTC beds and shift to supportive living “aims to force sick seniors to shoulder a larger share of their health-related costs and live in facilities that may offer them an inadequate level of care.
"It's unfair, but it's also absolutely penny wise and pound foolish," Notley said.
"These patients will end up in much more expensive ER and acute care beds because they are the last resort."
The 2015 NDP Election Platform promised to create 2,000 public long term care beds [not to close public beds and shifting to private supportive living], and to “end the PCs’ costly experiments in privatization, and redirect the funds to publicly delivered services.
They are short-changing Alberta seniors by not creating enough long-term care beds and relying on expensive, for-profit delivery of inadequate assisted living and homecare.
Hansard records for Monday, March 14, 2016 and Tuesday March 15, 2016 show an interesting role reversal; the Wildrose protesting shutting down long-term care beds and laying off nurses in Sundre, and NDP Health Minister Hoffman explaining that they’re not really losing LTC beds, although there might be a slightly different level of care the number of beds is increasing from 15 to 40.
The Minister’s lines could have been written by any of the Tory Health Minsters in the last dozen years.
Friends of Medicare and the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees have joined the opposition to the closure of the LTC beds and the shift to a lower level of care which is provided with increased private costs for goods and services, and increased responsibility for residents and/or family and friends.
Public Interest Alberta is on record as opposing closure of public long term care beds, with the Seniors Task Force participation in a documentary about the Carmangay closure, in their media releases, in their Position Paper on Long-Term Care, and in their meetings with the minister.
Meanwhile what's going on in Cold Lake about the fired workers? Not much by the NDP. They are missing in action.
And the NDP supporters are understandably shocked and dismayed.
They need to face facts.
The NDP have become the PCs.
They won't take action until there is media attention.
This is how the PCs worked.
This is now how the NDP folks work.
Power is so intoxicating.
It makes you forget the very people who got you to power.
The NDP folks in the GOA won't do anything about the fired workers because it simply isn't interested in retribution issues unless it impacts their chances of getting rehired.
May 29, 2017 8:40 pm
Updated: May 29, 2017 11:32 pm
Workers at an Alberta seniors home to be fired; AUPE files complaint
By Staff The Canadian Press
Alberta Union of Provincial Employees.
- A A +
A company that operates long-term care homes for seniors in northeastern Alberta says it’s firing current nursing care employees and going with a private contractor rather than trying to bargain a first contract with them.
Points West Living sent a letter last week to the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees notifying them of their plan for their facility in Cold Lake.
The Ontario-based company locked out 30 workers on Dec. 16, and the workers in Cold Lake joined AUPE in March 2015 and were trying to get their first collective agreement with the company.
AUPE president Guy Smith says the union filed a complaint with the Alberta Labour Relations Board and applied for a cease-and-desist order to try to stop the cuts of licensed practical nurses and health aides.
He says Points West Living sent its letter about the terminations the day after the Alberta government introduced Bill 17, the Fair and Family-friendly Workplaces Act, in the legislature.
He says the bill has provisions to settle first collective agreements in newly unionized sites.
Smith says workers were trying to address staff shortages, as well as get training and fair scheduling in their first contract. He says residents in the home are not getting the services they deserve.
“They see the staff as part of their extended families and it really hurts our members when they say, ‘I don’t have time to spend with you, I have many more patients to look after. It’s really about the quality of care in an environment that should be very supportive of folks in there.
What’s happening at the Cold Lake long-term care home is something that should concern all of us, Smith said.
“Members of the public have loved ones in these facilities, and they should care when they place one of their loved ones in these facilities that they get the level of care they deserve and that’s not happening. It’s something we should all care about especially as we all age and we ourselves could end up in some of these facilities.”
No one at Points West Living could be reached for comment. It also operates long-term care homes in Grande Prairie, Lloydminster, Vegreville, Wainwright, Stettler, Peace River, Red Deer and Slave Lake.