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BRIEFING NOTE & ANALYSIS:Briefing Note and Analysis of Shirlee Sharkey Report

Posted: June 23, 2008

(June 23, 2008)

The general approach taken in the report, the evaluation of the evidence, and the recommendations run counter to the core proposals made by the Ontario Health Coalition and many other groups that participated in Shirlee Sharkey’s consultation. Some of the recommendations may actually be less than what currently exists or are certainly less than regulatory requirements that have existed in the past. The approach – a total rejection of provincial standards, compliance and enforcement regimes – is based on the assumption that homes will work in partnership with stakeholders to increase care levels on their own without actual requirement to do so. On an individual home level the absence of regulations leaves no enforcement mechanism whatsoever. The recommendations do not increase provincial government accountability for improving care. The numbers used in the report confuse the issues by changing the classifications of staff included in care measurements without any justification from the literature or in “best practices” used in other jurisdictions. Many of the recommendations are extremely vague. The one positive is the recognition that care levels are inadequate and that staffing levels for PSWs and RNs be increased up to 3.5 hours (not average, no requirement, no enforcement). Overall, it is difficult to find much to support in the approach nor in the recommendations.

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