Despite Ontario’s promise to crack down on it, nursing homes that have repeatedly violated regulations continue to violate the law
Long-term care homes in Ontario continue to violate the law without facing severe penalties, which has caused serious consequences for the elderly in the province.
“Frankly, we need to really overhaul the inspection system and ensure that we are properly held accountable for the large number of bad actors in this field,” said Vivian Stamatopoulos, an associate professor and advocate at Ontario Institute of Technology. Stamatopoulos) said. Long-term care issues.
One year later, a crack in the long-term care system occurred. 3,773 residents in Ontario nursing homes died of COVID-19, and politicians promised to provide better conditions for long-term care workers. But some families continue to be cited by provincial inspectors as serious violations of Ontario’s long-term care laws.
Last year, a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation market survey After reviewing thousands of provincial inspection reports, it was found that 85% of households violated the same part of the Act multiple times within five years. Most people are not affected in any way.
For example, in the Orchard Villa in Pickering, Ontario, 70 residents died of COVID-19 In the early spring and summer of 2020, the province’s deadliest first wave of epidemics broke out. Since then, the house has been cited twice for violations of infection prevention and control behavior-once in November 2020 and once in April this year.
“It’s as if nothing has changed,” said Cathy Parks, whose father Paul died in the epidemic last year. “You know, if you remove your eyes for a second, things will return to the way they were.”
When a house is found to be in violation of the part of the Long-Term Care Home Act that supervises it, the most common action taken by the inspector is to notify the house that they have done something wrong and ask for it to be repaired.
Thousands of such notifications are issued every year, but problems often persist.
Parks said: “I think it’s comforting to know that there is no impact.”
Sometimes, violations will only lead to a voluntary correction plan, which, as the name suggests, is not a mandatory action. The province can also issue a compliance order to ensure that inspectors will return to see if the problem has been resolved.
According to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s analysis of inspection reports published on government websites, from 2015 to 2019, inspectors recorded more than 30,000 violations. Among them, more than half of the results are voluntary correction plans, and only about one-sixth of the results are compliance orders.
The most serious behavior, director referral, was issued in less than 1% of violations. They can lead to things such as mandatory orders to place houses under new management (a tool already used in houses that are fighting COVID-19) and the revocation of permits. In 2017, due to ongoing management and care issues, the Ministry revoked the license of a nursing home in Trout Creek, Ontario.
There is a provision that allows inspectors to demand administrative fines if the property violates the law and does not solve the problem when the inspector returns for inspection. It was added to Ontario’s legislation in 2017, but it was never enacted, so no houses face such financial penalties.
Stamatopoulos said: “Apart from written warnings, there are no consequences for non-compliance. This will not prompt these families to really change their behavior and do better.”
A kind The most recent report by the Auditor General of Ontario It is recommended to be fine. However, the government expressed its desire to monitor houses in a more supportive rather than punitive manner.
Repeated violations of the homepage continue to be cited
as a response market October 2020 survey, Long-term Care Minister Merrilee Fullerton said that families in Ontario cannot tolerate abuse or neglect.
However, even in families that have flagged the problem many times before, the case continues.
For example, Craiglee Nursing Home in Scarborough, Ontario recorded cases of abuse in 2016 and 2017. According to the provincial government, the nursing home was repeatedly violated due to negligence, lack of infection control, medication errors, and improper skin and wound care. Inspection reports from 2015 to present.
Von and his partner Mary said that they were unaware of these violations when they moved Von’s mother Kostadinka into the home in 2017 (CBC agreed to use only their names because they were afraid of retaliation for speaking out). Kostadinka lived in Craigley until her family witnessed abuse and rough care on the camera in her room.
Feng asked her to transfer to another long-term care home, and she died in 2019.
After Kostadinka left Craiglee, there were two more recorded abuse cases in 2020. One is physical and the other is financial, involving a worker asking residents for money.
“Nothing has changed,” Feng said. “Nothing has changed. Even when we were interviewed last year, we saw how many relapses, and this happens all the time.”
The fifth case was recorded during the inspection at the beginning of March this year. The report stated that a worker “used physical strength during the provision of nursing care and caused physical injury to the residents.”
Mary said that it is difficult to read the latest report.
“This brings me back to watching and watching [those videos],” she said. “I can accurately describe what is happening in this article. I can see it because that trauma will never go away. This is post-traumatic stress disorder. It is there every year, forever, and it will always be with you. So reading that, I can see it, and I am scared for that person. “
Doly Begum, a New Democrat member of the Provincial Assembly in the area where the Craigley Nursing Home is located, said that families with recurring problems are allowed to operate as usual, but they should face more severe penalties, including possible revocation of their licenses.
Begum said: “When we have all these families to be able to get rid of this neglect and abuse, what is the result? There needs to be real consequences. Unfortunately, there is no monitoring of this now.”
Company and government response
Stamatopoulos has been calling for the removal of for-profit facilities from the long-term care system, which she and other advocates believe will improve conditions.For-profit companies have Higher COVID-19 death rate last year Than the province’s non-profit and municipal housing.
Stamatopoulos said: “Nothing will change until we start to reduce and eliminate profits in the industry, and actually begin to punish and revoke the licenses of bad actors.”
The Minister of Long-Term Care rejected a request from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation for interviews with families that recently recorded repeated crimes.
A statement by a spokesperson for the Minister of Long-Term Care said that families must report any information about serious injuries to residents to the Ministry and report possible criminal offences to the police.
The statement said: “Ontario long-term care homes have zero tolerance for abuse or neglect of residents,” echoing the minister’s comments in October.
Southbridge Care Homes owns 27 for-profit long-term care homes in the province, including Orchard Villa and Craiglee Nursing Home, and also stated that it has “absolute zero tolerance for abuse or neglect.” It added that after conducting an internal investigation into the abuse faced by Kostadinka, it fired its employees.
The company stated that it had taken “appropriate disciplinary action” for the abuse recorded in March 2021. It added that employees have also “implemented a number of measures and changes in the past year” to prevent and control infection (IPAC) in the Orchard Villa.
“We have a full-time full-time IPAC leader on site, and our epidemiologists are on site regularly,” said Candace Chartier, the company’s chief senior advocate and strategic partner officer. Said in an email.
For families who have lost their loved ones under terrible circumstances, it is difficult to hear the ongoing problems. Many people turn to propaganda and lobby for better conditions. Parks said she wants national long-term care standards, and those who violate these standards will bear the consequences.
“I think this will attract more people like me, just an ordinary Ontario person who speaks out for what they think is wrong,” she said.
Watch the full episode of “National” Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Gem, CBC’s streaming service.