Corrective measures to be put in place at the Extended Care Unit

Bathurst, Tuesday, September 5, 2017 – Vitalité Health Network plans on implementing the recommendations contained in a report it requested following a series of allegations and harassment complaints lodged by Extended Care Unit (4th West) staff members at Chaleur Regional Hospital. Last March, the Network’s senior management had conducted a preliminary internal investigation after having been informed of the situation. Following this initial analysis, the Network hired an outside investigator experienced in the field of industrial relations to shed some light on the matter and make recommendations.

Full investigation of the work environment

As part of its investigation, the independent expert met nearly 40 employees, some of which on numerous occasions. Over 1,000 pages of documentation were gathered to write the report, which was submitted to the Network’s senior management. “This goes to show how seriously we take this matter and how much we value quality patient care. We also want to provide our employees with a healthy and safe work environment, where working is pleasant”, stated Gilles Lanteigne, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Network.

Main results of the investigation

The investigator confirmed in his report that there is indeed a poisoned work environment within the Extended Care Unit (4th West) at Chaleur Regional Hospital. The report states that all players in this matter share some responsibility in the deterioration of the work environment. Here are some of the issues:

  • Negative and inappropriate comments made by certain workers;
  • Many changes being implemented too quickly and clumsily;
  • Lack of action and follow-up from management staff in implementing some policies;
  • Excessive tolerance for inappropriate behaviours and language.

Recommendations that will be implemented

The report contains nearly 10 recommendations that will help develop specific action plans to solve the problems discovered. The main objectives of the Network are: (1) to restore a healthy work environment by presenting a collaborative practice model and improve teamwork; (2) to ensure positive leadership based on the needs of the patients on the unit, of the care staff and support staff; (3) to ensure the skills of employees and managers are kept up to date. This way, all players will share some responsibility in the quality of care and in restoring a healthy work environment.

According to the President and Chief Executive Officer, the quality of care and patient safety are of the utmost importance. “The involvement of families is also essential to allow us to move forward. Without a healthy work environment, quality of care is compromised; that is why we are determined to take action. The situation needs to be turned around”, he stated. The Network is committed to implementing the recommendations contained in the report and conducting formal follow-ups over the next two years to assess the work environment.