Tag Archives: resident quality inspections

Will 100 new nursing home inspectors represent a tipping point?

Well that didn’t take long.

Last week Health Minister Deb Matthews said she had asked officials to come forward with options on how to improve inspections in the province’s nursing homes.

This was the opening we had been looking for after a year of raising concerns around the lack of inspection staff to keep the homes accountable and residents safe. With existing inspections staff, it would have taken more than five years for every Ontario long-term care home to receive a detailed resident quality inspection (RQI).

With more than 2,000 complaints and critical incidents to investigate each year, it was impossible for the province-wide staff of about 80 inspectors (about 65 active in the field) to carry out the detailed proactive work they knew needed to be done.

A single RQI can involve three inspectors and take up to 17 days to conduct.

This morning Matthews announced she was adding 100 new inspectors – more than double the present complement – at a cost of $12 million.

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Zero tolerance for abuse and neglect? Hardly.

Health Minister Deb Matthews talks about zero tolerance of neglect and abuse in Ontario’s nursing homes. Her actions would suggest the opposite.

Yesterday Matthews said that inspection of long-term care homes will be based on complaints and critical incidents only. If the home doesn’t get complaints or critical incidents go unreported, it doesn’t get inspected.

This is despite a requirement in the Long Term Care Homes Act that requires an annual inspection of each home.

Jane Meadus of the Advocacy Centre for the Elderly says the intent of the Act was that each home would receive an annual resident quality inspection (RQI) – a detailed inspection conducted by a team of specialists, including an RN, a dietitian and an environmental inspector. An RQI can take as long as 17 days to conduct.

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