Thursday, December 17, 2009

LCM response to HCCA comments on staffing

This week HCCA received a letter from the Little Company of Mary (LCM) in response to our blog post of 2 November 2009.  We will meet with representatives of LCM in January to discuss their position more fully.  In the interim we thought it would be useful to post part of the letter that relates to staffing, as it provides more detail than we initially had.

What follows is an excerpt from that letter:

"In the section Implications for governance and staff conditions you state “nursing staff resources available to provide palliative care in the community appear to be considerably less than when home based palliative care was part of ACT Health”.
  • CHC received seven (7) Full Time Equivalent (FTE) nursing staff when it took on the home-based palliative service. This did not include any provision for clinical nurse consultant, managerial, allied health, medical or administrative support. Following representation to ACT Health in 2003, CHC received additional funding to provide a Clinical Nurse Consultant and administrative support for the home-based palliative care service.
  • Currently, the home-based palliative care service has approximately ten (10) FTE including the Clinical Nurse Consultant position and one (1) FTE of administrative support. Supplementing these staff, and not included in the ten FTE, are management, allied health, medical and administrative support staff located at CHH or working at CHH as an extension of their role at Calvary Hospital.
  • The model of care for home-based palliative care has developed since 2002 to focus on the provision of specialist palliative care services delivered by highly skilled clinicians. Non-specialist palliative care assistance in the home, as required by CHH, is provided by Community Health and also by the volunteer members of the ACT Palliative Care Society."
"Also in the section Implications for governance and staff conditions you state “but with the change of management will be employed by LCM and will be required to sign employment contracts agreeing to work to LCM values”.
  • Staff at CHH and Calvary Public Hospital, whilst ACT public servants, are employed and managed by CHC. Under this arrangement it is already a requirement that staff observe and practice the Calvary values of Hospitality, Healing, Stewardship and Respect. A value based approach to management is considered normal and best practice in health care."
  • "Further, no Clare Holland or home based palliative care employees will “be required” to become Calvary employees should the proposal proceed. If existing staff do not wish to become a Calvary employee (under the proposal) they can elect to remain in public employment with ACT Health.
  • If existing staff do remain with Calvary, and for any reason wish to review that decision at any time in the future, they can return to ACT Health employment with full recognition of length of service etc. All existing entitlements of staff, and their current superannuation  arrangements etc, will be honoured.
  • From the very first announcement of negotiations regarding the possible changes of ownership at Calvary Public Hospital and Clare Holland both parties clearly stated there would be no disadvantage to any staff. This commitment has been honoured to date and any representation to the contrary simply does not reflect the facts of the situation."

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