‘Risk of harm’: Ontario suspends admissions to Peterborough long-term care facility

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Ontario suspends admissions at Peterborough long-term care home
A Peterborough long-term care home has been suspended from accepting new residents. The provincial ministry issued the decision on May 2 over concerns of health and well-being. Robert Lothian has more on details of the last inspection before the suspension was implemented – May 7, 2024

Citing a “risk of harm,” Ontario’s Long-Term Care Ministry has suspended new admissions to St. Joseph’s at Fleming long-term care in Peterborough.

The ministry’s inspections branch issued a letter on May 2 to Home and Community Care Support Service’s (HCCS) Central East branch, and to St. Joseph’s administration, ordering it to “cease authorizing” admissions to the 200-bed long-term home in the city’s west end.

An inspection was conducted at the Brealey Drive facility on May 2.

Long-term care inspections branch director Brad Robinson said the order comes under Sec. 56 of the Fixing Long-term Care Act (FLTCA). The directive will be in effect May 2 until further notice from the ministry.

“The ceasing of admissions has been directed based on my belief that there is a risk of harm to the health and well-being of residents of the home or persons who might be admitted as residents,” stated Robinson.

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No explanation for the suspension was provided in Robinson’s letter.

In an email statement to Global News on Monday evening, the ministry says multiple issues of “non-compliance” within the long-term care home prompted the admissions suspension.

“Through the Ministry of Long-Term Care’s inspections program, issues of non-compliance within the home regarding resident care, staffing, and infection prevention and control were discovered,” the ministry stated.

“Due to non-compliance with ministry requirements, a Cease of Admissions order was issued. Follow-up inspections will be ongoing, and the ministry will remain in contact with the home.”

Global News also reached out to HCCS executive director Cynthia Martineau. HCCS manager of media relations Adele Small said any questions related to inspections “should be” directed to the ministry.

St. Joseph’s at Fleming administrator Carol Rodd was also contacted. On Tuesday morning, she stated that the ministry has directed that all questions regarding Robinson’s letter be redirected to them.

Recent inspections

On Tuesday, the ministry posted a 118-page report issued on April 15 citing the results of inspections of the home conducted in late February and throughout March.

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Inspectors investigated allegations of improper care of residents by staff, resident-to-resident abuse, concerns of resident care and neglect, housekeeping, menu planning and staffing issues.

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Among specific incidents highlighted include the “unexpected” death of a resident who had been hospitalized due to medical health issues including wounds, the report notes.

However, the report says long-term care staff on several occasions “failed to communicate” with a nurse practitioner regarding wound and pain care, including failing to “ensure a drug was administered to the resident as prescribed.”

“A series of failures and omissions lead to the neglect of the resident,” the report concludes. “The failure of multiple staff to follow the licensee’s polices, and comply with the legislation, and the failure of managers to oversee and ensure their policies, programs and the legislation were implemented and complied were neglectful and impacted the life of the resident.”

Another incident in the report includes two residents found in a “state of undressed” in a hallway.

There were also several locations where used razor blades were placed in bottles without a lid, and were “accessible to residents,” the report states. The inspectors said the residents were at the risk of possible injury or infectious injuries.

Another incident highlighted a resident who was dependent on staff for repositioning and continence care, however, it was determined staff had failed to document the personal care.

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The report also noted a resident who had “unexplained injuries” that were determined to have been caused by staff during transfer of a patient via a mechanical lift. However, the resident’s injuries were not reported.

Another resident was found on the floor as a mechanical lift was not used. However, the ministry says no documentation was provided on the resident’s fall.

St. Joseph’s at Fleming received fines and were ordered to be in compliance with a number of issues, the report states.

2023 inspections

An extensive 56-page inspection summary was also issued in late November 2023 outlining the results of inspections conducted in August 2023.

The inspections branch investigated multiple alleged incidents of staff-to-residents abuse and neglect.

Some of the incidents included a resident who did not have proper accommodation, nutrition care and services, complaints of failure by the home to provide residents their plan of care, staffing shortage-related issues, an allegation of a resident struck by another, and an incident of staff verbal abuse.

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The summary report noted in one incident a personal support worker was fired after leaving a resident alone in a dark room for a period of time without providing them access to a call bell.

The ministry issued several fines for some infractions and ordered compliance be reached on some issues by February 2024.

More to come…

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