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.