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Grey County long-term care homes on-boarding nursing students, redeploying staff

The county is implementing precautionary measures should the need arise for extra or replacement staff
2020_03_24 Grey Gables long term care home_JG
Grey Gables, located in Markdale, is one of three long term care facilities operated by Grey County. Sourced photo/Grey County website

Last week Grey County announced it would be training and redeploying staff from other departments to assist in its long term care facilities, however, according to the county’s communications department, the move is currently just a precautionary measure and should not be taken as a sign that the care homes are understaffed.

“We are currently meeting all staffing level requirements in Grey County long term care homes,” says Rob Hatten, director of communications for Grey County.

On March 19, the province asked all health care workers (including long-term care) who have returned from travel anywhere outside of Canada to self-isolate for a 14-day period from their arrival back in Ontario due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“New measures were put in place immediately once the county was notified of changes mandated by the province,” Hatten says. He explains that these new precautions have impacted the available workforce, but at this point, training staff from other departments is a precautionary measure, just in case the facilities begin to see staff shortages.

“We are training existing county staff to be redeployed to support long term care homes with non-nursing tasks should the need arise,” he says, adding that the county is also continuing to onboard nursing students in the role of personal support workers.

“In addition to the restrictions, the province is providing some flexibility on some of our staffing requirements,” Hatten says. “This includes allowing homes to prioritize the timing of specific training so employees are able to get started working sooner.”

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Jennifer Golletz

About the Author: Jennifer Golletz

Jennifer Golletz covers civic matters under the Local Journalism Initative, which is funded by the Government of Canada
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