Ontario health ministry keeps secret list of high risk long-term care homes

January 10, 2018
Article Source
Ottawa Citizen

Numerous Ottawa long-term care homes could be on a secret government list of facilities considered "medium risk" or "high risk" but it's impossible to know how many or which homes, because the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care is staying quiet. 

Ontario rates long-term care homes by risk, with about 90 per cent considered low risk. In the past year, it has revised its system of inspecting long-term care homes to focus greater attention on those it classifies as high or medium risk.

A home's risk level is determined by its record for complying with, or violating, the provincially mandated rules that govern long-term care.

Despite pressure from the provincial auditor general to "provide the public with better information for decision-making on long-term care homes," the ministry has refused to release information about which of Ottawa's 27 long-term care homes are considered high or medium risk, saying it plans to make more information available online so people can compare the performance of long-term care homes.

It has not said when that will be.

Several Ottawa long-term care homes have been in the news in the past year for serious incidents and repeated failures to comply with provincial legislation. They include the city-run Garry J. Armstrong facility, where the assault of an elderly, disabled resident by a support worker was caught on video. This newspaper has also reported that there have been at least 163 cases of abuse reported in Ottawa long-term care homes since 2012.

While the ministry's list is kept secret, clues to which Ottawa care homes are considered high or medium risk are contained in ministry inspection reports. 

Read more: Ontario health ministry keeps secret list of high risk long-term care homes