Hospital and nurses’ union receive recommendations from independent review panel

In late April, the hospital and the nurses’ union met with an Independent Assessment Committee (IAC) to try and resolve a long-standing disagreement. Yesterday, the IAC came back with 31 recommendations.

“It was time well spent getting a third-party perspective on the issue,” says Melissa Skinner, VP Patient Services and Chief Nursing Executive. “Based on their extensive, 117-page report, much thought and expertise went into it. It will take some time to review with staff the non-binding recommendations and assess which ones are feasible and what the timelines may be.”

At issue before the committee was how the hospital could increase its pool of skilled nurses able to provide care in its Special Care Nursery (SCN). The union proposes hiring more SCN staff. The hospital’s plan is to bring its SCN and paediatric units together as one team and invest in cross training staff to create a sustainable pool of highly skilled nurses. The IAC recommendations were generally supportive of the hospital’s direction while strategically outlining necessary training, resources and staffing.

“Bringing this before the IAC was a valuable experience. There are a lot of great ideas and strategies found in their document. It will be a good resource as we work with our union staff to come up with a road map for moving forward.”