Professionals working in the continuing care sector across Nova Scotia represented by the Continuing Care Association of Nova Scotia (CCANS) are calling for immediate and decisive action to implement the recommendations of the Minister’s Expert Panel on Long-term Care. A first priority is the creation of a Continuing Care Action Group comprised of service providers and sector leaders to facilitate implementation of the recommendations as soon as possible. CCANS Board Chair, Sheila Peck, says: “Nova Scotia’s population on average is the oldest in all of Canada. We are seeing people come to continuing care with more complex needs than ever before. Staff need to be equipped with the knowledge and skills, supports and technologies, to meet the mental, physical, emotional and spiritual care needs of every individual in a way that is respectful, compassionate and transparent.”
CCANS welcomed the opportunity to offer input to the Expert Panel in late 2018. Following the release of the Panel’s report on January 15, 2019, CCANS took the time to review the document thoroughly before responding in a letter to the Minister of Health. According to Peck, CCANS is supportive of the Panel’s recommendations. “After careful review and consideration, we support the Panel’s recommendations. We have been saying all along that skilled staff, competitive pay and benefits, an interdisciplinary team approach to care across the health care continuum, better and more transparent communication across the system and with the public, and an injection of capital to restore the budget reductions endured by the system over the past several years be made a top priority.” “I think what we are missing in this Report is evidence that we are working together to find innovative solutions to a long-term and systemic problem faced by all Canadian provinces and beyond,” says Peck. “For example, with more universities per capita than any other province, and the wealth of talent working in the continuing care sector, we are well-positioned in Nova Scotia to initiate small pilot studies in rural and urban care facilities to test and evaluate more effective care delivery models within the broader health care continuum.”
Based on extensive experience working in the continuing care sector, CCANS and its members are convinced Nova Scotians deserve a clearer, more transparent process for accessing continuing care when and where they need it. Says Peck: “As the Panel rightly points out, our system is fragmented which makes it extremely challenging for citizens of Nova Scotia to navigate through the system and ensure they or their loved ones get the kind of care and support they need. Furthermore, organizations within the continuing care system need to be well-integrated with clear roles and responsibilities to ensure a continuum of care that puts people first.
Peck says CCANS is cautiously optimistic that the work of the Panel will result in meaningful change. “Our members stand ready and willing to help implement the recommendations and action items in this report together with our colleagues across the continuum and government. Timelines need to be short and accountability for change needs to be high. Let’s be leaders in Canada, offering quality, innovative, and respectful care to our most vulnerable citizens.”
The Continuing Care Association of Nova Scotia is a not-for-profit organization made up of more than 50 care providers in Nova Scotia communities. Together we provide long-term care and support services to the elderly as well as individuals with physical or intellectual disabilities and those with mental health issues. For more than four decades CCANS has been at the forefront of our provincial care industry pioneering service standards, providing education to frontline staff and working to improve services for the people we serve.
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For more information contact: Heather Spidell, CCANS Communications, 9024995027