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October 19, 2017

Groundbreaking national survey of nurses’ perspectives on safe home care unveiled to provincial and territorial health ministers


Thursday October 19, 2017 (EDMONTON, AB) – Canada’s provincial and territorial health ministers met with the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions (CFNU) over breakfast today to learn the results of one of the first national surveys of nurses’ perspectives on home care and hear nurses’ recommendations for improving care.

“Nurses are witnessing first-hand how Canada’s aging population is leading to increased demand and an overloaded system,” said CFNU President, Linda Silas. “We need a safe-at-home policy and more nurses providing care to address the risks both patients and nurses are facing every day.”

The survey of 1,116 nurses from across the country revealed that nine out of 10 home care nurses say their clients’ acuity has risen compared to three years ago, and more than half said their clients sometimes or frequently did not have services reassessed or coordinated. Almost three quarters of the nurses surveyed said regular core health care staff is not enough to meet their clients’ needs.

“The evidence supports what nurses are saying,” said Silas. “Nurse-led community-based care has the potential to actually save money and result in better outcomes for patients.”

The landmark survey was unveiled today at an event co-hosted by Alberta’s Deputy Premier and Health Minister, Sarah Hoffman, during this week’s provincial and territorial Health Ministers’ Summit in Edmonton. It comes as provinces are set to receive an increase in federal dollars allocated for home care as part of the recently-signed bilateral health accords.

Home care expert and Dalhousie University School of Nursing Professor Dr. Marilyn Macdonald was also featured at the event. “My research shows that health care delivery in the home creates unique challenges,” said Dr. Macdonald. “It’s vital that we recognize the elements needed to make home care safer for clients, caregivers and health care providers.”

“Nurses are concerned about being able to meet patients’ needs and prevent injuries,” said Silas. “When workers are present, the home is a hospital without walls, and we need policy that recognizes this reality.”

Read detailed survey results here. The Vector Poll™ conducted the survey, which has a sampling error of plus or minus 2.9 percentage points.

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For further information please contact:
Lauren Snowball, Communications Officer, CFNU, (613) 868-5702
David Cournoyer, Communications Advisor, United Nurses of Alberta, (780) 913-1563

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