(NEW YORK, NY) – Last week, New York Attorney General Letitia James released a report, which highlighted that two-thirds of nursing home coronavirus fatalities in New York state were in facilities with the lowest or next-to-lowest staffing ratings. The “Safe Staffing for Quality Care Act” introduced earlier this month, will establish minimum standards for nurse-to-patient ratios under penalty of revocation of the facility’s operating license. Stuart Appelbaum, President of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU), which represents workers at nursing home facilities in New York issued the following statement in support of the bill:
“Nursing home workers watch over our loved ones every day; and they must have the time they need to provide the proper care to our mothers, fathers, grandparents and elderly. Without safe staffing levels workers are pulled between patients – which try as they might, doesn’t allow them to give the full care and attention to residents.
“The Safe Staffing for Quality Care Act will give our members the time they need to ensure each and every resident has the care they need and deserve. This bill will improve patient and worker safety by establishing staff-to-patient ratios for nurses in hospitals, nursing homes and other health care facilities based on the type of care provided and number of patients.
“Data continues to prove that staffing ratios not only save lives but provide significant cost offsets for providers. This legislation will implement mandated ratios so that patients get the care they deserve. Our members who care for our loved ones need the public’s support for safe staffing. We fully support this bill, and we hope it is swiftly enacted into law to help our members.”