Ontario LTC home ordered to find new manager amid inspection notices

An Ontario long-term care home has been ordered to find a third party manager to temporarily oversee day-to-day operations after failing to comply with a slew of inspection notices over a three-year period.

According to public records, the order was issued on July 20 by the director of inspections with the Ministry of Long-Term Care to Caressant Care, located on McLaughlin Road in Lindsay, Ont.

The report found that between June 2019 and July 2022, several written notifications and compliance orders were issued during inspections and the home had not taken the necessary actions to rectify the problems.

The report outlined five “recurring and ongoing non-compliance” issues, including a lack of personal protective equipment outside of isolation rooms, failing to document medication errors, failing to document adverse medication incidents, failing to bathe residents at minimum twice a week and failing to provide mandatory training to staff within one week of their hiring.

It also listed multiple other issues found during a June 17 inspection, which they say resulted in 18 written notifications and three compliance orders.

Two of the largest areas of non-compliance were regarding wound care and monitoring symptoms of infection. In June, an inspector found that a resident was “at risk of discomfort and wound deterioration when the resident’s wound infections were not monitored on every shift and the effectiveness of the medication was not being evaluated.”

The ministry also found that designated cooling areas in the home did not maintain a “comfortable” temperature between May 15 and September 15.

It also found that in June there was either no air conditioning in the designated cooling areas or those areas were locked and not accessible to residents.

“The temperature in the lounge on unit three and the outside temperature was 27 degrees Celsius,” the report said. “The residents were at risk for heat-related illnesses.”

Provincial legislation passed last year required all long-term care homes to have air conditioning available in resident rooms by June 2022.

Carrasent Care said in a statement to CTV News Toronto Thursday they have since ensured all residents have access to air conditioning in their rooms.

“As always, our priority is to provide a high level of care to our residents,” Communications and Marketing Manager Stuart Oakley said.

The report also indicates there has been frequent turnover in leadership. Between January 2021 and September 2021, the home had three executive directors and no director of care, and then in February 2022, three leadership level staff were terminated. According to the ministry, numerous staff have been hired but then resigned months and sometimes weeks later.

“These frequent vacancies and turnover in a short period represent instability within the home at a management level, which are tasked with leading and managing the operations of the home,” the report said.

As a result of these infractions, the Ministry of Long-Term Care has ordered the home to find new third party management.

“What this means is that Caressant Care will enter a management contract for McLaughlin Road with a person or persons to oversee the day-to-day operations in the home on a temporary basis. The individual or individuals will work with Caressant Care staff to help manage the home and clear any outstanding orders as well as help ensure the home is operating at ministry standards,” Oakley said.

“Caressant Care is working on securing a third party to enter into a management contract that must be approved by the Ministry of Long Term Care. At this time it is not known who the third party firm will be.”

A spokesperson with the Ministry of Long-Term Care said the order will give the home an opportunity to address the compliance orders, as well as stabilize their leadership staffing and ensure staff refresh their training.

“The ministry continues to monitor the home closely through regular follow-up inspections and ongoing contact with the operator to ensure the safety and well-being of the residents currently living in the home,” Mark Nesbitt said in a statement.

“The Director’s Order will remain in place until the Director of Inspections is satisfied that the licensee has met all of the conditions outlined in the Director’s Order, which includes a requirement to achieve compliance with all Compliance Orders issued by ministry inspectors.”