IH announces significant investment in residential care

Interior Health announced last week that an additional $5.9 million will be available in 2011 to enhance the care provided to residents living in publicly funded residential care sites. The investment will standardize the delivery of residential care across Interior Health and will be directed to staffing, education and quality initiatives. Particular attention will go towards enhancing care for residential clients with the highest and most complex needs.

“This funding will improve the quality and consistency of care for seniors, so that regardless of where clients live, they have access to the same standard and level of quality service,” said IH Board Chair Norman Embree.

Through this initiative, the majority of Interior Health sites will see an increase in funding to deliver care to residents. Across Interior Health, the hours of direct care that residents receive at all residential care sites will now meet an average of 3.15 care hours per resident per day. Care hours include the care provided by RNs, LPNs, Care Aides, and activity and rehab staff.

“While not all sites will see a direct increase in hours, I am very pleased that our broad investments in staff education and care planning will benefit all sites,” said IH Vice President of Residential Services Donna Lommer.

Interior Health will be hiring additional educators to support frontline staff, as well as introducing four quality coordinator positions to ensure the highest quality of care standards are in place at all residential sites.

A similar process of standardizing care hours occurred in the IH-contracted private partner sites last year when Interior Health invested an additional $4 million to ensure residents at these sites were provided with the same level and quality of service.

This additional investment is made possible through the residential rate adjustments that took effect across British Columbia in January 2010 and 2011. All health authorities are allocating revenue generated through the new rate structure into residential care services, ensuring the continuation and improvement of quality and equitable care.

Interior Health funds 5,185 beds for residents requiring 24/7 complex care through facilities owned and operated by Interior Health and those operated by contracted private partners.