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WRHA provides update on labour adjustment activities

September 11, 2018 - The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (WRHA) provided information today on labour adjustment activities that will support Phase II of the region's Healing our Health System plan. As mental health and surgical programs are consolidated to improve access for patients and reduce the need for patients to be moved between facilities, staff with specific expertise to support these programs and their patients will also move. These strategies will guide that process, ensuring the appropriate match of patient need and service delivery through revised master rotations.

As previously announced, Phase II of the plan includes the consolidation of the mental health program at Health Sciences Centre Winnipeg (HSC), Victoria General Hospital and St. Boniface Hospital by the end of 2018. The surgery program will similarly be consolidated, with surgery to be spread primarily between Grace Hospital, Concordia Hospital, HSC and St. Boniface.

"The expertise required for the delivery of specialty services has been spread too thinly throughout our region for too long," said Lori Lamont, Acting COO and Vice President Nursing and Health Professions. "This next wave of consolidation brings mental health resources together in concentrated areas, allowing us to bring patients with similar needs together in order to offer more streamlined care and less movement for patients who are already in distress. This change is in line with recommendations made by experts Dr. Peachey and Dr. Rush in recent reports that included an evaluation of services offered in our region."

Lamont indicated the surgery program would similarly benefit from concentrating their efforts at acute care sites and offering more same-day procedures where appropriate.

The region confirmed that a total of 51 nurses in the mental health program will have an opportunity to move from Grace and Seven Oaks hospitals to 53 opportunities at the Health Sciences Centre Winnipeg and Victoria General Hospital by the end of 2018. The surgery program will see 90 nurses move from Seven Oaks as surgeries are distributed among the three acute care sites, with some specialty orthopedic services moving to Concordia Hospital. The efficiencies gained by consolidating the surgery program at these sites will mean that 73 new positions are required to provide the same high quality care currently delivered to patients. Between current vacancies and new and existing opportunities, there will be opportunities for any nurse who wishes to continue working in the system."

"Mental health and surgery staff will be offered positions with their programs as these services are shifted between hospitals within Winnipeg," said Karlee Blatz, Regional Director of Labour Relations for the WRHA. "We encourage our staff to continue working within their area of expertise and will continue to work with them to promote continuity of care for our patients as these services are consolidated. We remain confident there are nursing positions available to all WRHA nurses who choose to continue working in the region, whether they choose to move within their program area or remain with their current facility."

In line with the Healing our Health System plan, efforts to better match staffing at facilities across the region with the patient population(s) they serve, the region will be updating master rotations at all hospitals in order to align staffing levels and concentration of services with patient demand. These efforts will be complete before the end of 2019.

For more information please contact:

Amy McGuinness
204-926-7178
amcguinness@wrha.mb.ca