Prince Edward County council approved the strategic plan for H.J. McFarland Memorial Home for the next two years on Thursday afternoon.
The report was called ‘very sobering’ by Councillor Treat Hull as he took a look at some of the issues the long-term care facility is dealing with.
Councillor Kevin Gale said one of his concerns was staffing, which was also an issue for some other councillors around the horseshoe.
Kim Mauro, the administrator of the home says they did have a seven or eight per cent turnover last year and they are short-staffed but they are aggressively addressing the issue and are in the process of hiring a fourth full-time registered nurse as one is required to be at the facility at all times.
She told council that staffing will continue to be a concern if Bill 33 goes through which will require every patient to have four hours of dedicated care time, which presents an even bigger challenge for them.
When asked how many hours of dedicated care each patient gets a day currently, Mauro couldn’t give an answer stating she couldn’t create a median because of the inconsistencies with staffing.
Another issue is that Personal Support Workers are required by the County to have a Grade 12 education. Mauro stated she’d hire someone who has completed the PSW program without the Grade 12 requirement, but it is something required that is beyond her control.
CAO James Hepburn says the policy is in place for a number of reasons but he would be willing to take another look at the policy.
Councillor Gale asked if a placement opportunity was available as well to perhaps get the facility on the radar of students.
Mauro confirmed there would be Loyalist students completing a placement there from mid-March until April and a second placement pending.
She also told council in her opinion staff moral has improved.
The strategic plan would carry the facility into 2020.