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Long-term care didn’t improve in Alberta in 2014-2015: survey

The Health Quality Council of Alberta has released the results of its 2014-15 long-term care facility survey.
The Health Quality Council of Alberta has released the results of its 2014-15 long-term care facility survey. Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

CALGARY — The Health Quality Council of Alberta has released the results of its 2014-15 long-term care facility survey.

The majority of the province’s 160 facilities showed little to no significant change in the five key measures of care and service, with most, if any, change being negative since the last survey in 2010.

Council CEO Andrew Neuner says he is disappointed with the results.

He says they haven’t been able to pinpoint exactly what is causing overall lack of faith in the facilities, but most families who took part in the survey says their top priority would be to see more staff hired.

Neuner says Alberta Health Services (AHS) should be doing a better job of filling the needs of the various facilities.

The survey showed that families gave individual facilities in the province scores ranging from 6.3 to 10 out of 10.

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David O’Brien from AHS said the survey’s outcome will help pinpoint which facilities might be performing poorly and in need of “immediate help” and it intends to “use the results in order to target our improvement efforts with the operators.”

“What the residents and families have said is we really have to focus on staffing as well as food and you know, ensuring that the care environments are best suited to the needs of the residents,” said O’Brien, senior program officer of Community, Seniors, Addiction and Mental Health in an interview with Global News Thursday.

He said AHS is working to “balance” availability of staff and a sustainable healthcare system, and said staffing options are being examined where there have been complaints of inadequacy.

Carewest, which had two of its Calgary facilities receive among the lowest scores in the city said the survey is a “useful tool”.

“There is always room for improvement,” Carewest said in a statement. “We continue to look for innovative ways to improve the resident and family experience and become more effective in providing the best possible health care for our residents. Work is ongoing to improve all areas of focus in the HQCA Long Term Care Family Experience Survey.”

The survey was conducted in March 2014 and January 2015 by the health watchdog in collaboration with Alberta Health and Alberta Health Services.

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You can read the results of the report and see how your loved one’s facility did here.

With files from CHQR and Global News