News release

Greater Flexibility, More Progress for Improving Long-Term Care

Government is introducing changes meant to bring immediate relief and more support to staff and residents in long-term-care homes across the province.

Nursing homes will now be able to hire retired nurses or internationally educated nurses who have met specific criteria, to work as continuing care assistants. The goal is to help homes address current continuing care assistant staffing challenges.

A new long-term care assistant role has also been created temporarily to help with day-to-day activities at nursing homes. This could include helping with recreation programs or walking residents to the dining hall. The intent is to free up time for the continuing care assistants so they can focus on personal care. This is a recommendation of the expert advisory panel on long-term care.

“Over the past several months we have been working with members of the panel to achieve the intent of their recommendations and have made significant progress,” said Health and Wellness Minister Randy Delorey. “We believe this work will better support the homes and staff, in providing the best care possible for residents.”

The expert advisory panel made 22 recommendations. Five are complete, 15 are underway, and two are being assessed. A report card outlining government’s progress is available online.

Quotes:

The panel is pleased with the successes of the department to implement the Wound Care initiative, to reinstate continuing care assistant bursaries and to enable those facilities working short of staff to temporarily hire long-term care assistants. We are impressed with the progress in other areas as well and encourage the department to continue to engage the sector and the Nova Scotia Health Authority in moving towards workable solutions to achieve the panel’s recommendations. Janice Keefe, Expert Advisory Panel on Long-Term Care member

We are pleased to see the progress being made towards addressing the recommendations of the expert panel. Having ongoing input into these initiatives has shown a collaborative approach and ensures long-term care providers, residents and their families are involved in improving the care and quality of life for people living in long-term care. We look forward to continued involvement in this work. Josie Ryan, executive director long-term care, Northwood

Quick Facts:

  • the long-term care assistant is a temporary position which will be assessed in the spring
  • 88 continuing care assistants have been supported through Nova Scotia’s immigration programs so far in 2019
  • $5 million has been committed to date to act on the panel’s recommendations
  • 132 new nursing homes beds are being added across Nova Scotia – Meteghan (10), New Waterford (36), North Sydney (38) and Eskasoni (48)

Additional Resources:

Progress Update on the Panel’s Recommendations: https://novascotia.ca/dhw/publications/Expert-Advisory-Panel-on-Long-Term-Care-Update-September-2019.pdf

Minister’s Expert Advisory Panel on Long-Term Care Recommendations: https://novascotia.ca/dhw/publications/Minister-Expert-Advisory-Panel-on-Long-Term-Care.pdf

Minister’s Panel Recommends Addressing Quality of Care and Staffing: https://novascotia.ca/news/release/?id=20190115004

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