Northampton County Council to contemplate research of Gracedale operations, worker pay Thursday

Northampton County Council will contemplate contracting for research of the operations of the Gracedale nursing house and of worker pay at its assembly Thursday.

The Higher Nazareth Township nursing house has been hindered by a scarcity of workers, prompting administration to restrict admissions to about two-thirds of the capability of 688 residents. The county additionally misplaced some workers who declined to be vaccinated in opposition to COVID-19. The federal authorities, not the county, required the vaccination. County Government Lamont McClure stated earlier that if Gracedale had not required vaccinations, it will have misplaced federal funding.

“Gracedale would stop to exist” with out that funding, he stated final month.

Council President Lori Vargo Heffner stated the examine of operations will not be an indictment, however an try to seek out higher methods of doing issues.

“Nursing houses across the state are in hassle,” she stated. “All nursing houses have challenges post-COVID. Gracedale is exclusive. It does not reject purchasers.”

The examine, if accredited by council Thursday, will have a look at how companies are delivered with out compromising on care.

Gracedale is already wanting the two.7 hours per day of affected person nursing care required by the State of Pennsylvania. The state is contemplating elevating that commonplace about 50%, to 4.1 hours of care.

Attracting workers is troublesome when some hospitals are providing nurses sign-on bonuses of $30,000.

“No one’s seeking to indict anyone,” Vargo Heffner stated. “An operational examine will not be an indictment and it is not a fault-finding mission. I haven’t got any doubt that folks have been working and attempting to determine methods to make it work.”

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She did say that the county must take heed to the workers and added that she is decided to maintain Gracedale open.

“I need Gracedale to be a wholesome, thriving place,” she stated. “For the residents, it is their house.”

The vote Thursday will probably be on requesting a proposal for a examine by an out of doors group.

Council may also contemplate a proposal for a examine of county worker pay. That examine, if voted in Thursday, would examine county pay to comparable counties and to different regional employers, and evaluation wages and advantages for comparable positions.

“If we use our assets intelligently, we are able to get good info for an affordable sum of money,” Vargo Heffner stated.

County Council will meet Thursday at 6:30 p.m. within the authorities heart in Easton. See the county web site for particulars and for a hyperlink to an Web broadcast.