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Safe, High Quality Patient Care Key Focus as RQHR Moves Forward with Initiatives to Better Align Staff Resources

16-Sep-2016

The Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region (RQHR) will continue its key focus on safe, high quality patient care as it moves forward with initiatives to support better alignment of staff resources with patient care demand.

Over the past two years, RQHR reviewed staff rosters in 117 urban, rural and long-term care units that provide or support 24/7 care, and made recommendations to align staffing with their approved schedules. In September, those units conducted a review to determine if all feasible recommendations were completed or whether further action was required.

“We know positive change happened in more than 90 per cent of these areas, due in part to focused daily management, using attrition as the method for adjusting staffing and regular communication with our front-line staff,” said Keith Dewar, RQHR’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “We also know that a small number of units require further action, and we are taking steps to address these areas in a number of ways, including issuing layoff notices in some instances.”

Layoff notice does not necessarily equate to job loss. Once notice is provided, collective agreements supporting unionized employees allow them the opportunity to elect to move to other positions in the region, including vacant positions or positions in areas with greater needs. RQHR has engaged the leadership of its three unions about these changes and the required actions needed to facilitate the staff movement.  

“It is our hope that the individuals affected will elect to pursue other opportunities elsewhere in the region, resulting in minimal job loss,” Dewar said. “We will make every effort to support staff members in their efforts to retain employment within the region in accordance with the collective agreement process.”
 
“As we work to improve the sustainability of our health care system, we have looked carefully at ways to meet increasing demand effectively, while minimizing potential impact on our patients and staff. Part of this effort needs to include realigning staff to better meet patient demand in some of our program areas,” Dewar said.
 
People resources account for the majority of RQHR’s expenditures so the region needs to ensure patient care is provided effectively in all of its services, Dewar said.
 
“Safe, high quality patient care remains our primary focus as we undertake this staff realignment process,” he said. “During this process, the region will not be reducing services, closing beds or halting programs related to this initiative.”
 
The Region’s 2016-17 operating budget is just over $1 billion and includes a number of initiatives to continue providing safe, high quality patient care while addressing fiscal priorities and cost reductions required due to the current fiscal climate. For example, RQHR continues to move forward with its existing plans to achieve savings in administrative costs. Three full-time and two part-time administrative positions will not be filled on a permanent basis, with savings re-directed to front-line services in long-term care. The RQHR 2016-17 Business Plan identifies a number of initiatives underway to support the creation of a sustainable system for all our patients, clients and residents.
 
“The region is committed to continued fiscal responsibility for the money entrusted to us,” Dewar said. “System sustainability will be achieved through using all of our resources responsibly, working to eliminate waste and adding value. In order to achieve sustainability we need to ensure residents of our region receive the right care in the right location by the right providers at the right time.” 
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For More Information:
Lisa Thomson
Media Relations Consultant
RQHR Communications
Email: lisa.thomson@rqhealth.ca
Phone: 306-766-5332