HSARB Orders Increased Nursing Hours, Recognizing the Risk of Parental Burnout

  • May 2, 2019
  • Laura Lepine

On January 10th, 2019 the Health Services Appeal and Review Board (“HSARB”) released its decision in the case of K.H. v Toronto Central Local Health Integration Network. K.H., a 9-year-old girl, has a condition called short bowel syndrome. Her conditions necessitates the overnight administration of intravenous nutrition, among other things. During the night, there is a risk of her intravenous line malfunctioning and needing to be fixed.

Previously, K.H. had been receiving 43 hours of in-home nursing services. The Toronto Central LHIN then eliminated these nursing hours in favour of providing 14 hours/week of personal support worker services.

The HSARB held that K.H. needed trained caregivers – in this case, nursing services instead of personal support worker hours – and ordered the LHIN to provide these services for 31 hours/week. It further recognized that, if K.H.’s father (her sole caregiver) were required to provide K.H.’s overnight services 7 nights per week, K.H. would be at risk because of the likelihood of burnout or errors.

This decision provides welcome relief to the parents of children with disabilities who are often called upon to provide round-the-clock care with little respite. It further helps to distinguish situations where an individual requires nursing services as opposed to personal support services.

You can read the HSARB’s decision here (link).

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