For more than 30 minutes a resident of The Wexford went on a rampage, roaming the halls of the Scarborough long-term care facility, battering one woman before leaving his own floor and heading upstairs to kill another.
It wasn’t the first time that this resident had been involved in a violent assault at the home. A psychiatrist had assessed the resident as a chronic risk to others and recommended he be placed in a psychiatric group home better suited to manage his behaviour.
Despite a scathing Ministry report on the incident, the last time The Wexford had undergone a detailed inspection by the Ministry of Health was 2009.
Last year Health Minister Deb Matthews had said homes that generated few complaints or critical incidents would not likely undergo such an inspection, since the new resident quality inspection (RQI) regime would only apply to those homes that raised the most red flags.
The right care at the right place at the right time. It’s a reasonable goal for the health system, but frequently Ontarians are faced with difficult decisions because they can only access one or two of those three conditions.
Recently we received a call about potential layoffs at a nursing home in Grey County, leading us to wonder why, with so many Ontarians on wait lists for a long-term care bed, this particular home had several beds unfilled. It turned out to be not alone in the region.
In the South West region there is an average of 1,442 people waiting to get into a long-term care home (April 2013) – but that is not uniform. The South West stretches from Lake Erie in the South to Tobermory in the north and the experiences vary dramatically.
While the average wait to get into a long-term care home is 124 days, that is not the case in the northern part of the LHIN where the average wait in Grey and Bruce Counties is less than half at 55 days.
The municipal homes in Grey and Bruce Counties have the longest waits, being among the first choice of those seeking care, but those looking for immediate placement can have their pick from at least five homes. An additional six homes have waits for basic beds that are less than 30 days. Some are as short as four days.
Having this information available is certainly useful to families seeking to find a nursing home, although not all CCACs are consistent about posting such information. The question is, why? We surveyed the CCAC websites under “Long Term Care Options” and found wait time information at four – South West, Toronto Central, Central East and South East. If you are from one of the other CCACs and we missed your information, please let us know!
Ontario has too few staff caring for residents in its long-term care homes. Coupled with too few inspectors — most homes have not had a detailed inspection since 2009 — it is a cocktail for disaster. How many scandals will it take before the province keeps its words and really protects some of our most vulnerable citizens?
OPSEU’s Rick Janson speaks about the lack of staffing and inspection at Ontario’s long-term care homes in this new Operation Maple video. Also featured is OPSEU member Tamara Lazic, who speaks about her grandmother’s last days in one of these homes.
Dalton McGuinty is threatening to pull the plug on his own government after the opposition parties amended his budget bill yesterday in the legislature’s finance committee.
Like the Harper government budget bill, the McGuinty government inserted a large number of legislative amendments to create a massive omnibus bill. Many of these the NDP and Conservative opposition stripped out yesterday with their 5-4 majority on the committee.
Among them is the controversial Schedule 28 which would give the government enhanced latitude to privatize public services without returning to the legislative assembly for debate and approval.
McGuinty claims the Schedule is to facilitate the complete privatization of ServiceOntario, itself a mistake. High-profile lawyer Paul Cavalluzzo accompanied OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas to the legislative committee last week to point out that such privatization potentially opens up serious privacy concerns given U.S. subsidiaries would be forced by American law to share sensitive information gathered by ServiceOntario with the American government.