|I hope this email finds you well and safe. We have been working by the seat of our pants trying to conduct business as normally as possible. You may have noticed that wait times for in-clinic and in-home visits are at an all-time high, and our wait list grows daily.
The cause for the increased wait times is Section 146/20. This was put in place by the government and prevents nurses from working at more than one job within the health care sector at any given time. This has affected every nurse in the city, most of whom hold two or more jobs because of the lack of available full-time positions. This has impacted the TiredSole™ team by reducing our nursing staff by more than half. We are trying our best to serve the community, but we hit issues such as this at every turn. Most of you are already aware that we have always been using PPE supplies, it’s the norm for us. What I don’t think most people realize is the number of gowns, gloves and masks (we need the proper masks) we go through. The increased costs and the ability to get PPE supplies have made it difficult to maintain the growing need for care in the community. We have had to make the hard decision to increase our fees for home visits. Effective November 1, 2020 home visit will be $80.00 each. This increase will allow us to cover the cost of supplies needed for each visit and the extra time it takes for the precautionary protocols put into place by Covid-19
This decision was not made lightly. COVID-19 restrictions have put us in a difficult place and we DO NOT want to have to terminate all community visits. We feel the cost increase is our only option to be able to continue providing care in the community. With a 150% increase in costs to gowns, gloves and masks and the shear difficulties trying to keep our supplies stocked, we are not able to keep up. This does not affect in-clinic appointments or visits to long-term care facilities. In the clinic we are able to use machine washable gowns to help keep costs down and facilities have been able to supply us with PPE when providing essential care
We asked our more mobile community patients to attend in-clinic appointments and we are so thankful for those of you who have. However, in order to continue to provide essential in-home care to those in need, we will implement designated community care days. When booking NEW clients, we will use an assessment tool to help triage patients that meet the criteria for a community (in-home) visit. When re-booking existing clients, the only change will be the fee related to a in-home visit.
If you are in the East End of the city,the nursing shortage is high and this may affect patients who have already been seen regularly by our Team
All foot care nurses in the city are in the same position, either they are not accepting new patients or they have a wait list of many months. However, I understand this decision will have some patients looking for services elsewhere, and for this I am truly sorry.
If you do seek alternate foot care, please ensure your new provider:
· is a nurse trained in medical foot care or it may not be covered under your extended medical benefits
· has an autoclave to sterilize their tools to avoid exposure to cross-contamination
If you have extended medical coverage, your coverage will remain intact. Alternatively, you can claim the cost of foot care on your taxes as a medical expense.
Thank you for your support of local small businesses. These fees will be re assessed once PPE has returned to pre-COVID costs and the emergency orders deemed over we will notify you immediately, and open up community visits once again. ( The section 146/20 states, the Order shall be in effect for the duration of the declared emergency)