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Interior Health no longer overseeing Summerland, B.C., seniors home after quality of care improves

Interior Health is ending the appointment of an administrator to oversee the day-to-day operations of Summerland Seniors Village. Submitted

The Interior Health Authority (IHA) says it’s ending the appointment of an administrator to oversee the day-to-day operations of the Summerland Seniors Village, as the quality of care has improved.

Administrator Vanda Urban has kept an eye on the management of the privately-owned senior’s facility since February 2020, after concerns were raised about inadequate care.

“We continue to make the health and safety of seniors our first priority. We are ensuring that residents in long-term care facilities are receiving quality, safe and dignified care,” said B.C.’s minister of health, Adrian Dix.

Read more: Interior Health keeps control of Summerland seniors home due to concerns over care

“I am confident that the actions Interior Health has taken to ensure seniors living in this home receive the care they expect and deserve.”

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Doug Cochrane, Interior Health board chair, said detailed reports indicate the level of care at Summerland Seniors Village is once again meeting legislated standards.

Click to play video: 'Summerland care home remains under gov’t control'
Summerland care home remains under gov’t control

“Interior Health will continue to work with the operator moving forward with a focus on resident safety and quality of care,” he said.

According to a Feb. 10, 2020, inspection report, concerns included neglect of people in care.

The licensing officer uncovered notes of licensed practical nurses sleeping on the job, missed medications and incomplete shift reports.

“Upon review with Director of Care (DOC) it was confirmed that these incidents had not been investigated thoroughly, and employees implicated in these incidents have continued to work without the concerns being addressed,” the inspection report said.

Read more: Interior Health takes control of seniors home in Summerland due to concerns of inadequate care

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The inspector who attended the facility last winter said there was no system in place to ensure seniors were not subjected to harmful actions.

“Upon chart audits, it was noted that multiple persons in care had noted bruising to upper arms over a four-month period. This had not been reported by employees to management therefore not investigated until management was made aware,” the report said.

Click to play video: 'Proposed class action against Retirement Concepts to include Summerland Seniors Village'
Proposed class action against Retirement Concepts to include Summerland Seniors Village

Other issues ranged from employees not following the facility’s influenza policy, lack of employee supervision, inadequate record-keeping, and an ineffective system in place for the management of restraints.

An inspection report at the facility, dated Dec. 15, 2020, said there was still an ineffective system in place to ensure all in-house incident reports “are investigated and risk is mitigated.”

Summerland Seniors Village is owned by a Chinese holding company and is operated by West Coast Seniors Housing Management.

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Read more: Chronic staffing shortage, low wages to blame for Summerland seniors home woes: HEU

The federal government approved the sale of Vancouver-based Retirement Concepts, one of the biggest senior care providers in B.C., to Chinese insurance giant Anbang in 2017.

Click to play video: 'Chronic staffing shortage, low wages to blame for Summerland seniors home woes: HEU'
Chronic staffing shortage, low wages to blame for Summerland seniors home woes: HEU

In 2018, the Chinese government accused Anbang’s chairman of financial crimes and took direct control of the company.

Chinese officials then ended a two-year takeover of Anbang and created Dajia Insurance Group, a firm that absorbed the company’s assets and is privately owned.

Outside administrators were appointed to run other Retirement Concepts care homes in Nanaimo, Comox, and Victoria.

In 2013, an administrator was appointed at Summerland Seniors Village for four months when the facility was under different ownership.

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