Nova Scotia Health and community leaders working together to support recruitment in Cumberland County

Representatives from Cumberland County and Nova Scotia Health have committed to work together to support the recruitment and retention of staff and physicians to support programs and services at All Saints Hospital in Springhill and Cumberland Regional Health Care Centre in Amherst.

This follows a meeting in Springhill last week during which Cumberland County mayors and MLAs, community recruitment committees and health care foundations expressed their concern about Nova Scotia Health’s decision to temporarily change the hours of the Collaborative Emergency Centre (CEC) at All Saints Springhill Hospital.

“We have to recruit staff so we can return to seven-day service at All Saints Hospital as soon as possible,” said Bethany McCormick, Northern Zone Vice President of Operations, Nova Scotia Health. “The temporary closure of the CEC is just that; it’s not part of a plan to close All Saints Hospital.”

The change was required to avoid the disruption of services at Cumberland Regional Health Care Centre’s Emergency Department in Amherst. Nurses needed to be urgently reassigned to support staffing after a sudden and unexpected shortage of critical care trained nurses in the county’s regional hospital.

Four critical care registered nurses from All Saints Springhill Hospital accepted the reassignment to the regional hospital’s emergency department and will work there until new permanent nurses are hired.

The groups committed to ongoing meetings including one scheduled for October 18.

“We look forward to our conversation next week about exploring ways to engage communities in recruiting health care professionals to Cumberland County,” said Dr. Aaron Smith, Northern Zone Medical Executive Director. “Temporary housing and childcare are two examples of obstacles we face when recruiting staff and physicians. Collaboration and partnerships with our communities are key to successfully solve the recruitment challenges.”