RNs Tuesday to Join Growing Protest Over San Mateo Plan to Close Burlingame Long Term Care Facility
San Mateo County registered nurses Tuesday will join an outpouring of community residents who plan to pack a special hearing of the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors on a proposal to close a 240-bed long-term care facility in Burlingame.
The proposal would place patients with chronic physical and mental illnesses in substandard facilities that offer a lower level of care and are potentially far from their families and support systems. Most of the patients have resided in the current facilities for more than 20 years. The closure would also result in the layoffs of over 200 workers who are mostly San Mateo County residents.
Who: San Mateo County nurses, caregivers, patients and families
What: Protesting proposed closure of Burlingame long term care facility (BLTC)
When: Tuesday, February 14, 2012, 9a.m.
Where: Westin Hotel Ballroom, One Old Bayshore Blvd., Millbrae
With the proposed closure generating growing public opposition, the Supervisors’ meeting has been moved from its usual location to accommodate an expected high turn out from caregivers, residents and their supporters who are expected to voice strong protests over the plan.
“RNs are concerned that the movement of some of these patients could literally cost them their lives,” said Margarita Harrington, a San Mateo County RN. “What the Board doesn’t understand is that BLTC is not just a ‘facility,’ it is quite literally home in all that the word entails. As nurses, we have the needs of our patients uppermost in our hearts and our minds, not the budget of one of the wealthiest counties in the country.”
The county is justifying the proposal with what CNA/NNU, which represents San Mateo County RNs, calls exaggerated claims of deficiencies in the current building they lease. Whatever modifications need to be made to the physical building, these changes are minimal compared with the disruption to the care and lives of the affected patients, say the RNs.
RNs say that the county should either renegotiate the lease on the current facility, or, locate to a different facility that would allow the patients to stay together in a single location close to the current facility.