Ontario’s patient ombudsman investigating experiences at long-term care homes with coronavirus outbreaks

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Ontario’s patient ombudsman has announced an investigation into the experiences of residents and staff at all long-term care homes in the province where there has been a coronavirus outbreak.

“We feel that this investigation will help long-term care homes prepare for future outbreaks of infectious diseases, including COVID-19,” Craig Thompson, executive director for the patient ombudsman’s office, said in a statement Tuesday morning.

Thompson’s office reported receiving more than 150 complaints about long-term care homes after an appeal in April for safety-related complaints, adding the number of people coming forward is growing.

READ MORE: Inspection reports found mouse feces, neglect, abuse at Ontario long-term care homes before COVID-19

“Our office would like to thank every resident, caregiver and staff person of a long-term care home for having the courage to come forward with their complaints,” Thompson said in the statement.

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“We are committed to resolving these complaints and amplifying the voices of residents and caregivers as we learn from their experiences.”

READ MORE: Ontario ombudsman launches long-term care investigation following military report

As a part of Thompson’s investigation, his office said they will be looking at issues related to staffing levels, infection prevention and control measures, restrictions on visitations, and information communication.

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The announcement comes a day after Ontario Ombudsman Paul Dube announced an investigation into the pandemic oversight of the province’s long-term care homes after reading a report by the Canadian military outlining conditions at five facilities.

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