It could take more than five years before all of Ontario’s nursing homes receive a full inspection by the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care. Further, the complaints hotline overwhelmed inspection teams with 2,719 complaints last year, leaving many families to wait anywhere from 30 days to a year to get their complaint investigated.
Inspectors say that it is taking so long to investigate that they are sometimes arriving to find the resident who issued the complaint has passed away.
The 2007 Long Term Care Homes Act was meant to address incidents of abuse and neglect in Ontario’s nursing homes, but the government is considering any visit to the home an “annual inspection,” even if it is only for a specific complaint. Prior to 2010, homes were subject to a full inspection of all programs and services.
Each office of the Long Term Care Unit presently has an informal goal of completing two “resident quality inspections” (RQI) per month. RQIs are the new version of what used to be considered an annual inspection. That means the province has a goal of conducting 120 RQIs per year. Ontario has 630 licensed nursing homes.