No comprehensive inspection for nearly 60% of Ontario's long-term care homes
Published Wednesday, December 3, 2014 4:25PM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, December 3, 2014 5:52PM EST
More than half of Ontario's long-term care homes have not had a comprehensive inspection this year, despite a 2013 promise from the province.
The Ontario government had promised that every long-term care home would have a Resident Quality Inspection, which is a thorough look at everything happening at the facility, every year, starting in 2014.
But as of the beginning of December, 58.6 per cent of homes in the province had not been through a thorough inspection.
With a complaint-driven inspection process, many incidents of neglect or abuse are never investigated because they aren't reported and that was the reason annual, comprehensive inspections were promised.
And OPSEU's Ron Elliot says "It's just another broken promise. They never hired the staff to be able to do it...[they] get pulled away from inspections because they have to do complaints."
The government hired 100 people to make sure the inspections got done, but only three quarters of them are actual inspectors, meaning there are only 140 inspectors to look into over 600 homes across the province.
Miranda Ferrier of the Ontario Personal Support Workers' Association says that's a major problem.
"They're critical because people need to be held accountable; front-line staff, registered staff, administration, all the way to the director of care. They need to be held accountable for the care they are providing people."
Comprehensive "Resident Quality Inspections" Reported Per Local Health Integration Network*
|LHIN||Number of Long-Term Care Homes||Homes Not Inspected||Percentage Not Inspected|
|Erie St. Clair||38||25||65.7|
|Hamilton Niagara Haldimand Brant||87||39||44.8|
|North Simcoe Muskoka||28||23||82.1|
*Please note these numbers do not include inspections that followed incidents or complaints, or follow-up inspections.
Recent statistics show that between 2011 and 2013 about 1,500 cases of abuse and neglect were reported in southwestern Ontario alone.
Elliot says, "Complaints of abuse in long-term care are extremely complicated. It takes a long time to investigate the complaint - our members are just run off their feet."
The result is that most comprehensive inspections aren't being done.
Ferrier says better care comes with more front-line staff, but they can't do what they're supposed to - and errors won't be corrected - if the government doesn't follow through.
"Everybody from front-line staff to owners, inspectors and ministry directors need to be held accountable and to complete the tasks they're set out to do."
For more information on whether a long-term care home has undergone a compresensive inspection visit: http://publicreporting.ltchomes.net/en-ca/Default.aspx