North Simcoe Muskoka Local Health Integration Network Launches Pilot to Improve the Patient Experience in Retirement Homes

Latest Effort in Ongoing Strategy to Address the Region’s

Personal Support Worker Shortage

December 12, 2018 – The North Simcoe Muskoka Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) has just launched a six-month pilot to improve access to Personal Support Workers for retirement home residents.

North Simcoe Muskoka continues to experience a serious shortage of Personal Support Workers (PSWs). The LHIN is working with many partners in the region to identify strategies to reduce the gap between the need for personal support services and the supply of Personal Support Workers in the region.

To augment these efforts, the LHIN will be working closely with Care Partners and ParaMed to schedule teams of Personal Support Workers in shifts at the two pilot-location retirement homes. Rather than having longer visits once or twice a day, Personal Support Workers will provide care in smaller increments of time, more often, and will have the ability to care for multiple patients. Structuring the delivery of personal support services this way allows for greater flexibility to meet the needs of patients with better consistency and continuity of care.

Teams of Personal Support Workers will provide care to all North Simcoe Muskoka LHIN Home and Community Care patients residing at Barrie Manor in Barrie and Chartwell Tiffin in Midland (North Simcoe sub-region), for a designated period of time daily.

Following the six-month pilot, the North Simcoe Muskoka LHIN will continue to work closely with health system partners to evaluate the impact of this new model of care on Personal Support Workers capacity in the community.

“Having dedicated teams assigned to shifts in the retirement homes means there will be a greater consistency in care, while increasing efficiency, allowing for more Personal Support Workers in the community,” said Debbie Roberts, Vice-President, Quality and Performance, North Simcoe Muskoka LHIN. “The goal is to help ensure support for individuals to receive care and remain in their communities for as long as possible.”

Facts about the PSW shortage:


  • Currently in North Simcoe Muskoka, approximately 12 per cent of all home care personal support hours are delivered to patients living in retirement homes. This amounts to approximately 11,000 hours of care per month provided by LHIN contracted service providers.


  • The number of seniors in North Simcoe Muskoka aged 65 years and over is expected to more than double over the next 20 years - from 93,000 in 2016 to over 177,500, or 29.3 per cent of the population, by 2036.


  • Demand for personal support services in North Simcoe Muskoka is projected to grow nine times faster than the workforce between 2015-16 and 2021-22. That escalates to 20 times faster than the workforce between 2015-16 and 2035-36. 


To learn more about the North Simcoe Muskoka LHIN Personal Support Strategy, please view the Personal Support Capacity Reports, at


For more information contact:

Shelby Rushton

Communications Coordinator

705-721-8010 ext. 2274