Long-term care homes are not getting comprehensive annual inspections: NDP critic

January 11, 2019
Article Source
Ottawa Citizen

Many long-term care homes in Ontario are not getting annual comprehensive inspections required by law, says NDP health and long-term care critic France Gélinas.

Gélinas, who pushed the Liberal government to introduce annual inspections for long-term care homes in 2014, says the province is now focusing on high-risk homes, which means other homes get less comprehensive inspections and some are getting no annual inspections at all.

In Ottawa, several long-term care homes reported no resident quality inspections, as the annual inspections are called, in 2018, although they were inspected for complaints.

“The law is still there, but they are not doing it,” Gélinas said.

“Some homes are really not meeting quality care and need the government oversight to protect people.”

Gélinas said about one-third of homes — those identified as high risk — are getting full inspections every year. Other homes may get a less comprehensive inspection in response to a complaint or a more comprehensive inspection every three years.

Gélinas said the province seems to be doing inspections as part of the complaints process, but she believes that does not meet the intent of the law. Resident quality inspections are the most comprehensive inspections in long-term care homes and are a two-stage process.

“There is a reason why the law says there will be yearly inspections. … There have to be checks and balances. You have to have oversight, and that is the job of the government.”

The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care said every long-term care home in the province is inspected at least once a year. “The intensity of the inspection is determined by compliance history and risk level,” said spokesman David Jensen.

Annual comprehensive inspections of the province’s more than 600 homes have, in fact, been almost impossible to achieve, in part because of the number of regulations involved and a shortage of inspectors.

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