A Ministry of Health report suggests staffing shortages contributed to the deaths of two residents at Brucelea Haven Long Term Care Home in Walkerton, Ont.

Until staffing is adequate, no new clients will be allowed to be admitted into the 144-bed nursing home.

The scathing report suggests for the past 36 months, staffing shortages have led to residents not being bathed, their teeth not being brushed, medication being late or not administered at all, falls and injuries.

As well, in two cases, not enough staff was listed as a contributing factor in two residents deaths.

In one case, the report says a resident who required two people to transfer them, had only one personal support worker (PSW) available to transfer - leading to two falls, and two broken bones in just two months.

The resident passed away two weeks after the last fall. The resident’s death certificate said “falls with injury were a contributing factor” to the person’s death.

Jane Plant, whose mother has been a resident at Brucelea Haven for the past four years, called the report “horrifying.”

She’s eager to move her mother out of Brucelea Haven as quickly as possible, but there are no other long-term care beds available in the area.

The local mayor, Chris Peabody, called the situation, “a crisis,” and is pushing his fellow Bruce County councillors to hire two new directors of care as soon as possible to turn Brucelea Haven around.

Before admissions can be reopened, 31 separate Ministry of Health requirements need to be met.

Michael McKeage, Bruce County’s director of health services, says progress is being made.

In the past two months, 13 PSWs have been hired, but he admits much more needs to be done to bring the nursing home back into compliance.