Implementation of single site staffing at facilities within the Fraser Health region
Last updated: May 14, 2020
The health and safety of our residents, their families and our staff is our number one priority. We continue to follow direction from the Provincial Health Officer and other public health officials to avoid transmission of the COVID-19 virus within facilities across Fraser Health.
On April 10, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced the single site directive to limit health care workers to working in only one facility as a way to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 to vulnerable seniors. Facilities currently covered in the orders include private hospitals, stand-alone extended care hospitals, licensed long-term care, registered assisted living and provincial mental health facilities. The orders do not apply to home support, acute care hospitals or extended care units physically located within acute care hospitals.
All affected facilities in the Fraser Health region have now received their assigned staffing lists from our Medical Health Officer.
In addition, and prior to the Orders, we had implemented comprehensive strategies to prevent and respond to COVID-19 in long-term care, assisted living and independent living facilities. Read this letter from our Medical Health Officer to learn more about the measures taken to-date.
What is the single site directive?
The single site directive was issued by the Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry under the Facility Assignment Order to protect our most vulnerable patients and residents from COVID-19.
The order restricts health care workers to only working in one private hospital setting, licensed long-term care facility, registered assisted living facility, provincial mental health facility and stand-alone extended care hospital.
As per the PHO Order, Fraser Health’s Medical Health Officer has issued further orders outlining staff assignment decisions and instructions to facilities for implementing the single site directive.
These orders have been made to mitigate the risk of the transmission of COVID-19 among residents, staff and volunteers and protect our vulnerable senior population.
When will it be implemented?
All affected facilities in the Fraser Health region have now received their assigned staffing lists from our Medical Health Officer and they are being implemented.
Why were these orders needed?
Residents of long-term care and assisted living are vulnerable to COVID-19. There is a risk of increased exposure for residents/tenants due to staff moving between more than one site.
Restricting staff to a single site will help mitigate the spread of the disease within these facilities
How will the orders impact existing residents?
In order to ensure continuity of care, as many employees as possible will remain at sites where they hold a regular position. In some cases, residents will have new care providers.
Will there be any impact to the level of care provided?
A critical principle of the order is to ensure there is sufficient staff at every worksite to safely meet patient care needs.
Working with our care provider facilities, we have made the necessary changes as a result of the single site order in a careful, thoughtful manner to ensure minimal disruption to staff and to patient and resident care.
Questions and answers for staff affected by the order
How were decisions about my assignment to a facility being made?
Generally, if you are a regular status staff you would have been assigned to the site where you were working the most hours, whereas if you were a casual staff member, you would have been assigned based on where your hours were required to meet care needs. If you were already working at a single site you would not have been assigned to a new worksite.
Will any staff be exempt from working at a single site?
Staff will be assigned to work at one site. If for unique operational reasons this is not feasible, Medical Health Officers may make an exemption to the one site rule.
Does the Order apply to all health care roles?
This Order does not apply to dieticians, medical laboratory technologists, medical laboratory assistants, nurse practitioners, paramedics, pharmacists, physicians, resident physicians, speech language pathologists, inter-facility transport staff, delivery persons, trades people, regular and biochemical waste removal people, biomedical engineers, visitors or any other person or class of person who are exempted by the medical health officer
Were my site preferences considered as part of my facility assignment?
At the end of March, any employees working at multiple sites were asked to submit their site preference. Where possible, employee preferences were considered, however, operational factors took precedence in order to ensure sufficient staffing levels at every worksite.
How will my hours be impacted?
Employers are making every effort to ensure you continue to work the same, or more, hours as you worked prior to the change.
If I am not covered by HEABC’s provincial collective agreement, how am I being paid?
As per the Ministry of Health, all employees who are restricted to working at a single site under these orders will receive the hourly wage rate equivalent to HEABC collective agreements for the duration of the single worksite limitation period.
Where can I find more information?
We recommend speaking with the leadership at your current or new facility first as they will have the details of your assignment.
For more assistance, Fraser Health employees may email: SSStaffQuestions@fraserhealth.ca