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Home Support Services Transition

COVID-19 updates for home support clients 

Updated March 16, 2020: Client Letter, COVID-19 Infographic, BCCDC COVID-19 Posters

For more information, please visit: www.vch.ca/covid19

Welcoming clients and staff

A warm welcome to all incoming Home Support clients and staff transitioning from SE Health (formerly St. Elizabeth Health Care) to VCH on February 25, 2020.

If you have any questions or concerns, please call: (604) 675-2555



Home support transition

In March 2019, we shared that home support services across Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) and Fraser Health would transition from contracted providers to local health authorities.

The home support services clients currently receive will not change as a result of the transition. We are working to ensure that client schedules and staff assignments will remain the same and that service and care continuity for home support clients is not disrupted.

We look forward to welcoming 1,500 new home support staff members to our VCH teams and are working collaboratively with the current providers, Bayshore Home Health, ParaMed, SE Health and Greater Vancouver Community Services (GVCSS), to ensure there is no change in the delivery of home support during the transition.

VCH's vision is to deliver an exceptional care experience for all. We are committed to providing the quality and continuity of care home support clients need while offering the best health care experience we can.

When will home support services transition to VCH?

The process of transitioning home support clients and staff to VCH has now begun and will be implemented in phases for contracted home support clients and staff.

The first and second phases of the transition have been successfully completed. VCH welcomed over 150 Bayshore Home Support staff and over 400 clients on November 13, 2019. On January 21, 2020, approximately 275 ParaMed staff and 850 clients transitioned to VCH-Richmond.

The next phase will see approximately 360 SE Health home support staff and 878 clients transition to VCH care in Vancouver.

We will be working closely with GVCSS to transition clients and staff to VCH through this phased approach in April 2020.

Questions?

We are committed to providing you with the information and services you need during the transition. Ifyou have any questions, please feel free to contact us using the information below:

Call us toll-free at 1-877-708-5224

Email us at VCHhomesupport@vch.ca


Information for clients & families

VCH and contracted home support providers are working closely together to make sure this is a smooth transition for you and for the care workers who support you. There is no action you need to take and we want to ensure you that there will be no changes to your schedule.

We will continue to provide updates and share important information about the transition to all clients. We want to ensure you have everything you need before the transition takes place. For previous client letters and other correspondence, please view the documents listed below.

Past correspondence and resources for clients

Common questions

We have included our most frequently asked questions below. If you would like to read all of our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) please download the full FAQ document.

After thoroughly reviewing how we deliver home support services in our region, Fraser Health and Vancouver Coastal Health are changing the way home support services are delivered. These changes aim to improve coordination and quality of services by having the health authorities deliver all of their home support services directly instead of using contracted service agencies.

In doing so, we believe we can better support people across the Fraser Health and Vancouver Coastal Health regions who live at home and need help with activities of daily living such as personal hygiene, medication supervision, light meal support, getting in and out of bed, and respite care.

These changes support the Ministry of Health’s priority to create a more integrated and robust system of primary and community care for the benefit of all British Columbians.

A shift to an in---house model will allows for the opportunity to create integrated teams where staff can work collaboratively to meet the clients’ needs in an accessible and coordinated manner across all our regions. It also provides the reliability, quality, and continuity of care that many clients and families in our regions depend on, building a strong foundation so we can continue to support their needs today, tomorrow, and in the future.

All active home support workers who are currently employed with one of VCH’s contracted providers (Bayshore, ParaMed, St. Elizabeth and the Greater Vancouver Community Services Society) will be offered employment with VCH and the ability to maintain their current status, including seniority, benefits and pension.

Our goal is to ensure that regular and casual home support staff with these agencies are aware of comparable employment opportunities at VCH. All home support staff currently working for one of these agencies, will have these new opportunities available to them.

Both health authorities will be working with their contracted providers and unions on a plan to transition all home support services to the health authority over the next 12 months. During this time, the priority will remain on ensuring a seamless transition for home support clients— continuing to provide a high level of care and continuity, as well as maintaining client satisfaction.

To accomplish this, clients are being informed of this change as well, and the health authorities are finalizing comprehensive plans on how to safely and effectively transition clients from the contracted providers to in---house supports.

We anticipate welcoming more than 1,500 home support workers into our organization over the next 12 months.

This change is about enhancing services and improving coordination. Going forward, our clients and their family members can still expect high---quality home support services.

As we shift to bring these services in---house we will work with our staff and partners to introduce new innovations and technologies to further enhance our home support model.

VCH will continue to work with contract service agencies, as required to ensure continuity of services to clients through this transition and ongoing, during surge.

 

This change is being made as the contracts with external service providers for home support services are set to expire in March 2020 and as the health authorities are working with the Ministry of Health to prepare for new investments and enhancements in home support care. We believe that bringing home support services in---house across all regions will enable us to deliver more coordinated and consistent care to clients living in the community.

There are also opportunities to better align with the Provincial vision for a more coordinated and connected Primary Health system, with health authorities planning and delivering all services directly.

Therefore we will not be renewing our contractswith home support providers as they come up on expiration.

 

Our priority is continuity of quality service for our clients. Fraser Health and VCH will begin the transition process, working together where they share contracted service providers to ensure a smooth transition. We anticipate the transition will unfold over the next 12---18 months.

Vancouver Coastal Health will be working with their contracted providers on a plan to transition all home support services and staff to the health authority over the next 12 months. VCH will be working with both the providers and unions to transfer staff into comparable employment opportunities with the heath authority.

 

Health authorities support clients at home with a range of services and supports. Home Support Services will be planned and coordinated within this broader context, with all members of the health care team working together to meet client needs.

Managing all of VCH and FH’s home support clients centrally will allow for more control over scheduling.

We can consider things like areas where there are a higher density of clients, and the ability for the same worker to return more regularly, thereby improving service continuity for clients.

This model provides the reliability, quality, and continuity of care that many clients and families in our regions depend on, building a strong foundation so we can continue to support their needs today, tomorrow, and in the future.

 

No – services to clients will be maintained. Clients will continue to receive the same types of services that they receive today, at the same costs. In fact we expect to be able to provide more services, as new Ministry of Health policies enable greater flexibility for services provided by home care workers.

Client financial assessments are conducted annually. This focuses on the client’s capacity to pay, not on the model of care. 

 
 

Contact information

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us at VCHhomesupport@vch.ca or 1-877-708-5224 (toll free).


Information for home support workers

Updates for staff

Are you a new VCH Home Support staff member? Do you have questions about the upcoming transition of services from contracted providers to the Health Authority? If so, download our updated Home Support Repatriation Question & Answer document for more information.

We are in the process of bringing services under the direct operation of VCH. This transition will provide coordinated care, as home support clients often receive other VCH community health services, and ensure a consistent care experience for clients across VCH.

The transition of new staff to VCH from the contracted providers will occur over the next nine months, in four phases. Phase 1 is currently underway as Bayshore Home Health staff began transitioning to VCH on November 13, 2019. VCH will be working with community health teams, the contracted providers, clients and staff during the next phases.

We are committed to ensuring that home support schedules and staff assignments will remain the same and that service and care continuity for home support clients is not disrupted. We are very excited for you to join our team and will be sending you updated information as planning progresses.

Common Questions                                                                        

We have included our most frequently asked questions below. If you would like to read all of our Question and Answers (Q&A), please download the full Q&A for incoming staff.

After reviewing how we deliver home support services in our regions, Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) and Fraser Healthhave decided to make changes to improve care coordination and quality. As a result, contracts with existing home support service providers will not be renewed in March 2020 and the health authorities will deliver home support services directly.

 

Home support services are designed to help people who live at home and need assistance with care needs such as personal hygiene, medication supervision, light meal support, getting in and out of bed and providing respite services for caregivers. 

Home care is provided by nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, case managers and other care providers in an individual’s home rather than in a clinical setting.

With health authorities providing home support and home care services directly, there is an opportunity to create integrated teams in the future where all staff serving a client are connected and work collaboratively to meet client needs. 

 

Over time, we intend to increase the number of regular, permanent positions among home support workers to create more stability in the workforce.

Another goal is to improve scheduling so that home support workers can spend less time travelling between appointments and more time delivering care.

 

Individuals who have been serving clients in Fraser Healthwill continue to work in Fraser Healthand likewise for VCH. 

Staff who work for current home support providers will be offered comparable employment (accountabilities, salary, benefits, hours and location of work) with VCH or Fraser Health.

All current home support provider staff who become health authority staff will be guaranteed the same status they currently have with one of the four current providers.

Once you transfer to your health authority, you will be able to apply for posted positions. 

Unionized staff

VCH and Fraser Healthhave worked with the Health Employer’s Association of BC and unions to complete a Transfer of Employment (TEA) agreement. 

Excluded staff

VCH and Fraser Healthhave gone through a job matching process for employees currently in excluded positions with contracted service providers. All excluded positions that are transferring to excluded positions with VCH and Fraser Healthwill maintain the same salary and benefits (other than benefits that may be specific to your employment agreement /contract with the current employer).

In some cases, the excluded position with the current home support provider does not match with an excluded position at the health authority and will be appropriately matched to a unionized position.

 

VCH and Fraser Healthhave been working closely with current home support providers and unions on a plan to transition home support services to the health authorities over the next six to eight months.

During this time, the highest priority will be to ensure a seamless transition for home support clients—continuing to provide a high level of care and continuity, as well as maintaining client satisfaction. Client schedules will be maintained and wherever possible, they will have the same care worker(s).

 
 

Resources for home support staff

Contact information

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to email us at VCHhomesupport@vch.ca or call 1-877-708-5224 (toll-free)


SOURCE: Home Support Services Transition ( )
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