Bruce County is striving to improve workplace challenges in its two Long Term County Homes.
In an effort to better understand current staffing challenges and provide a healthy, positive environment for staff and residents, Bruce County is inviting a third-party assessment of the workplace culture at Brucelea Haven and Gateway Haven. (the third party has not been hired yet.)
Director of Health Services Michael McKeage says â€œThe increasing needs of our resident combined with continued staffing shortages have placed additional pressures on our Long Term Care Homesâ€.
Over the last decade, McKeague says the Countyâ€™s Long Term Care Homes have undergone frequent changes in leadership and scheduling which has contributed to organizational stressors in the workplace.
The comprehensive workplace cultural assessment in both Long Term Care Homes will measure the values, collaboration, inclusivity, clarity of goals and rewards as well as the transparency of leadership.
The hope is that by bringing in third party assessments, the County will gain a better understanding of underlying issues while striving to foster a vibrant workplace that delivers the highest standard of care for residents of the long term care homes.
McKeague notes that a number of initiatives have already been implemented to address these issues at both long term homes, he says this is a further opportunity to initiate a home specific process.
Bruce County has budgeted 45 thousand dollars for the Workplace Cultural Assessment.
Past Ministry of Health and Long Term Care inspections of Brucelea Haven have noted on several occasions that unstable staffing levels are the single greatest contributor to service inconsistencies in the long term care home.
A follow-up Ministry inspection last week pointed to insufficient staff as a continued concern, which is stressing staff and preventing consistent provision of some services.
McKeague sasy the County continues to work diligently to recruit qualified and experienced staff .
The biggest challenge is a shortage of PSWs, as it is a very competitive profession and the shortage is felt province wide.
He notes the County hired six new PSWs(Personal Support Workers) this week, and are currently recruiting for 17 PSWs in both part-time and full-time positions.
The results of the Workplace Cultural Assessment will help form the foundation of an action plan for workplace cultural improvement.
Processes and initiatives will be developed, based on industry best practices, to address increase staff retention rates, improve customer service and standardize operating procedures, in line with Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care regulatory requirements, among other identified issues.
McKeague notes that all staff play an instrumental role in quality care and standards.