OSOT presents to Long-Term Care Staffing Study Group

Ontario has launched an external advisory group to provide strategic advice on staffing in the long-term care sector across the prvoince.  The Advisory Group is made up of experts, academics, thought leaders, and stakeholders, including the resident and family voice across the long-term care sector.  OSOT has long advocated for increased access to occupational therapy services for residents of Ontario long-term care homes.  Access to OT services became increasingly limited in 2013 after physiotherapy funding reform restricted physiotherapy providers from providing "complimentary" occupational therapy services. 

 OSOT's Long-Term Care Homes Team Chair, Joanne Kular has been an active representative and advocate, participating in countless meetings with bureaucrats and political staff to increase awareness and promote strategies to improve access to OT services which is the lowest in Ontario long-term care homes across the country.  While the most publicly visible staffing crisis in long-term care is a shortage of personal support workers and nursing staff, OSOT asserts that attention to the interprofessional  supports, such as OT, available to address resident  needs must be a priority as well.  Ensuring the most appropriate interprofessional mix of staff can best support resident needs and reduce nursing care demands.

The Society was invited to present and make submission to the LTCH Staffing Advisory Group on March 10, 2020.   View OSOT's submission.

Implications for Occupational Therapists
Occupational therapists working in long-term care homes or contracting services to homes are encouraged to share the messages of this most recent submission with their teams and long-term care administration.  We are encouraged with the interest expressed by Study Group members to the important roles occupational therapists can play in homes.  As a profession we need to be thoughtful about the capacity building that may be required to support increased access to OT services if this were to be enabled.

Are you interested to help?  OSOT's Long-Term Care Homes Team is in need of membership!  These could be exciting times, we wish to be carefully monitoring and positioning our services at this time.  If you can assist, please contact osot@osot.on.ca.