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Staffing, support at COVID-19-stricken Parkview Place care home a big concern: WRHA

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11 people have now died in connection with the Parkview Place COVID-19 outbreak. And as Brittany Greenslade reports, past inspections show there are other significant problems – Oct 21, 2020

An eleventh person — a man in his 80s — from the Parkview Place care home in Winnipeg has died due to COVID-19.

Parkview Place is home to the largest care home outbreak in Manitoba with more than 85 cases and 11 deaths.

After weeks, the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (WRHA) said it sent a five-person team of health officials for an in-person review of the care home Oct. 17, which is currently under critical-level restrictions after more than 80 cases and 11 deaths.

A WRHA spokesperson told Global News one of the major issues facing the facility is related to staffing.

“Although Parkview Place has onsite management around the clock to provide additional support and monitoring, the facility is experiencing challenges to maintain staff resources during the outbreak, and existing staff who remain at work are in need of relief support,” the spokesperson said.

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“Onsite staff remain engaged and professional under difficult circumstances and we would like to thank them for their dedication and efforts.”

Team members also spoke with residents, staff and management at the care home.

The review identified the need for more medical and clinical staff, which could include doctors, nurses, health care aides and physiotherapists, to care for residents.

The review found that staff are also in need of more training on outbreak protocols, according to the WRHA.

“We are working with the operations team at Parkview to ensure these improvements are made immediately,” the spokesperson said.

Read more: Another coronavirus death linked to Winnipeg personal care home, 135 new cases Wednesday

The WRHA said it’s working with Parkview to help bolster staffing, including offering on-the-job training for new hires, a wage premium for workers, and accessing the provincial callout for casual healthcare staff.

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According to care home owner/operator Revera, the Parkview facility is up to snuff as far as provincial standards are concerned.

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“The team at Parkview Place achieved solid results in the Personal Care Home Standards Review, meeting all 12 provincial standards,” Revera spokesperson Larry Roberts told Global News.

After the province refused to release the latest inspection reports, Revera released a copy of its March inspection to Global News upon request.

While it met all standards and passed its licensing requirements there were significant issues found regarding the “state of repair, cleanliness and sanitation practices.”

There were concerns with cleanliness and infection control, including evidence of cockroaches and dirty resident washrooms that smelled of urine.

Read more: Coronavirus: Parkview Place, Manitoba’s deadliest care home outbreak, in ‘staffing crisis’

The report indicated that numerous locations throughout the care home were in need of repair “to mitigate infection control and safety risks including cracks and gaps.”

The report also found that numerous resident washrooms had a strong urine smell and that Parkview had a cockroach issue dating back to 2018, as well as asbestos in the walls.

Click to play video 'Protecting seniors in Manitoba personal care homes' Protecting seniors in Manitoba personal care homes
Protecting seniors in Manitoba personal care homes – Oct 21, 2020

On Oct. 9, the Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 2039, the union representing staff at Parkview Place, filed a grievance over what it said are unsafe working conditions during the COVID-19 outbreak.

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“Staff at Parkview are doing their best to support residents during this critical time, but they need help,” CUPE’s Health Care Coordinator Shannon McAteer said in a news release.

“We are beyond an emergency, and staff are completely overwhelmed and frightened for themselves, their families, and the residents they care for.”

Revera said it is working on the issues and has a three year plan in place.

“The Action and Plan and Status Update outlines additional improvements the team has made to date and the three-phase plan to make infrastructure repairs over the next three years,” Roberts said.