Hospice of the Bluegrass to lay off social workers, hire nurses

Hospice of the Bluegrass said it is laying off as many as 20 social work positions across the state and adding 10 to 12 nursing positions by early 2012.

Hospice said it wanted to change staff caseloads to increase the availability of nurses to patients and families in its 32-county service area.

"This caseload modification will increase the time nurses can spend with patients," said Gretchen Brown, president and chief executive of Hospice of the Bluegrass.

Hospice of the Bluegrass has offices in Lexington, Nicholasville, Frankfort, Cynthiana, Florence, Hazard, Corbin, Harlan and Pikeville. The Corbin, Harlan and Pikeville offices will not lose any social work positions, Hospice said.

Employees affected by the change will be offered severance packages and given at least 60 days' notice.