The recent flurry of partisan wrangling and finger-pointing communiqués about how to address the serious problems facing Burnaby Hospital is extremely disappointing.
Since the c. difficile outbreaks in the facility this past year there seems to have been a serious political damage control strategy for government and a separate and slowly evolving plan that we have yet to see from the Fraser Health Authority.
Meanwhile, B.C. Nurses' Union members have appealed to politicians and committees of every stripe to implement some of the solutions that nurses know would address infection risk and improve patient care in the site. In our members' presentations a number of helpful solutions were brought forward.
Nurses suggested that "something as simple as Plexiglas dividers in patient rooms and adequate sinks and bathrooms would help prevent spread of infection."
Nurses also called for improved sanitation stations for hand washing (touch-less taps and soap dispensers) and well -staffed overflow units to eliminate hallway patients.
Nurses tell me there is a desperate need for "a simpler and faster system of in-house cleaning staff."
The current privatized system means "calling a 1-800 off-site number before a cleaner who is standing next to you is able to clean a desperately needed room for a critical patient has become 'absurd' for all staff involved."
Nurses have been up front with their solutions and their belief that consultation processes should be genuine and nonpartisan. Unfortunately, everyone suffers when government and employers don't work together for better care. It's time the population of Burnaby receives the quality care they deserve. The first step is for front line nurses' solutions to be acted on.
Debra McPherson, President, B.C. Nurses' Union