#SHARESHARESHARE--Despite repeated bannings by the care provider, James Tucker has advocated for his wife over and over again. Can you imagine how stressful this is folks? His wife cannot speak for herself and without her husband's advocacy she has no one. Don't think that the GOA cares about the families and the residents in care. Nope. It's up to families to do the work of oversight and detection of the problems in the system. Why else did the folks at AHS tolerate the non-compliances in the accommodation reports at the Lacombe long term care facility that they run? We have four years of non-compliances with reference to the accommodation reports. We don't know how many years of non-compliances were present with reference to the standards as we have seen only one CCHSS audit provided to us by the Wildrose Party folks. So disturbing.
If nursing students and families have to complain about non-compliances for years and nothing gets done until there is #MediaAttention does this mean we have oversight by everyone except the GOA and the health authority in Alberta?
As for the Tuckers? Mrs. Tucker is out of the care facility and in the hospital where she languishes. What the heck is going on in Alberta so that families have to go through this sort of hell? I guess it's all about bureaucratic and political expediency decisions. Let the private sector take care of the business of caring for our most vulnerable citizens and let government get out of the way until there is #MediaAttention. I mean nursing students in a group had to do the work of the auditing teams at Alberta Health and AHS? What next? Stay at home mums and dads doing auditing for the system?
Blog | February 20, 2014
By Karen Kleiss, Edmonton Journal
FEBRUARY 20, 2014
EDMONTON - Shauna McHarg hasn’t seen her father in nearly two years because she is banned from his floor at the continuing care home where he lives. She is only allowed to visit her mother there one hour each day. She missed their 50th wedding anniversary.
Hugette Hebert wanted to see her husband’s diaper change so she could assess his condition, but doctors said no. When she refused to leave the room she was banned for a day, and the security guard who escorted her from the building told her that if she continued to cause trouble she could be banned forever and might never see her husband again.James Tucker hid a video camera in his disabled wife’s room and alleges he captured abuse on tape. When he angrily expressed his concerns, he says he was banned from the facility for a month.
Albertans who believe they have been unjustly barred from visiting loved ones at care facilities can face years of appeals that end with a toothless recommendation from Alberta’s Ombudsman.Ultimately, only facility managers have the power to let them back in. “I just want to see my parents, and let my family heal from this horrible, horrible experience,” McHarg said. She believes she was banned because she complained about the treatment her mother received in Covenant Health’s Edmonton General Continuing Care Centre, but the facility won’t tell her precisely why.In a process that took nearly three years, she challenged the ban through Alberta Health Services Patient Relations right up to the provincial Ombudsman, who ruled she was not treated fairly.
She took her case to Alberta’s Information Commissioner, who also ruled in her favour and said Covenant Health should give her the documents that explain why she can’t see her father. Covenant appealed to the Court of Queen’s Bench, and McHarg will plead her case there Thursday. “No one in Covenant Health is accountable. … There is no transparency,” McHarg said. “It shouldn’t be a legal battle to know why these restrictions are imposed.”Covenant Health spokeswoman Charlene Morrison said she can’t comment on a case before the courts but generally, decisions are made in the best interests of patients. Concerns are addressed first by the care team, and escalate to patient relations and then to Clinical Ethics Services, a neutral third party inside Covenant Health.
Hugette Herbert’s late husband, Jack Rudichuk, also lived at a Covenant Health facility, Villa Caritas. A former university professor, Hebert never contested the one-day ban, but after that day she feared raising concerns with staff.“When you’re in that situation, many families are fearful that if they say too much, their loved ones…will suffer the consequences,” Hebert said.“I felt completely disempowered, abused, and afraid to do anything because I was afraid that I would be banned for longer, and that’s what the security guard said. He said ‘If you don’t comply, you could be banned forever, and you’ll never see your husband again.’ Bill Moore-Kilgannon of Public Interest Alberta says the existing system is "absolutely unacceptable."
"The families have next to no power in these situations,” he said. “The formal channels that exist are so weak and cumbersome they just don’t know what to do.”The solution is to make Alberta’s new Senior’s Advocate independent and to establish family care councils in law, he said, giving them the authority to swiftly resolve disputes and complaints. A spokesman for Health Minister Fred Horne declined to comment. Alberta Health Services spokesman Kerry Williamson said “in most cases, visitors who are negatively affecting patient or client care can sign a behaviour agreement, which would then allow visits to proceed provided they adhere to that agreement.
“Our Patient Relations department is also available if family members or visitors have concerns. And, a concern can be raised with the Ombudsman. “We must also ensure that we protect our staff from abuse,” Williamson said. Ombudsman spokesman Paul Michna said that while recommendations are not binding, they are delivered to the highest levels of Alberta Health Services and are usually implemented. James Tucker has been banned twice from the Points West Living facility in Grande Prairie, where his wife lives with a degenerative disability. The facility won’t comment on his case, but general manager Ronda Hartegen said in a statement that “the only situations where we consider limiting access to our sites is when the safety or well-being of our employees or residents is in jeopardy.”
“Of the 650 residents Points West Living cares for daily, we only have one situation where a visitor has been restricted access.” Tucker, a miner and valve technician, said he was never a rabble-rouser until his wife went into care. When he was banned, he worried himself sick. “I have power of attorney for my wife, I am supposed to be there, I am her voice,” he said. Now he visits her every day, sometimes more than once. He fears raising his concerns with the facility, but continues nonetheless. “You feel like you’re some kind of criminal for trying to protect your wife,” he said. “But I have to do something; I have to help my wife.”
So this raises questions in my mind.
1) If the nursing staff--RNs and LPNs needed more training what does this say about the management at this facility? Isn't it the job of management to ensure all professional staff are working in the scope of their job descriptions?
2) If professional staff lacked the training they needed to do their jobs the professional requirements of both RNs and LPNs would presumably require them to acquire the required training or not do the work so why did the staff not get the training required to do their jobs?
3) What about the CCHSS audits over the years for this facility? We only got one CCHSS audit. Were previous audits full of non-compliances?
4) Who is responsible for the tolerating of the non-compliances over 4 years in the accommodation audits?
5) If an AHS facility is full of unacceptable non-compliances that families have brought up to no avail before the nursing students took action what does this say for the oversight by the health authority and Alberta Health? Who is in charge of this mess?
Staff placed on leave after nursing students flag alarming problems at Lacombe Hospital
Using leaked audit documents, Opposition Wildrose describe conditions at the facility as 'appalling'
By Gareth Hampshire, CBC News Posted: May 10, 2017 1:32 PM MT Last Updated: May 11, 2017 6:49 PM MT
Alberta Health Services is investigating safety and sanitary issues and staff training at the Lacombe Hospital and Care Centre. (Google)
Three staff members have been placed on leave at the Lacombe Hospital and Care Centre after a review uncovered safety and sanitary problems and inadequate staff training.
Opposition Wildrose Leader Brian Jean described conditions at the facility as "appalling" during question period at the Alberta legislature on Tuesday.
The problems only came to light after nursing students from Red Deer College raised alarms in March, during their practicum at the facility.
"We are grateful that the students who were on the site did raise concerns and that AHS followed up immediately," said Health Minister Sarah Hoffman.
Leaked documents made public by the Wildrose show not all staff at the centre received training on infection control practices.
Training was also found to be deficient in the areas of wound care, dementia care and medication management.
Private client health information was left unattended in unsecured locations easily accessible to staff and families.
Opposition concerned about patient safety
Other problems outlined in the documents included expired sterile supplies, such as catheters, dirty linen and overflowing garbage found in the hospital's hallways.
Linda Moore Martin, the dean of health sciences at Red Deer College, said it would not have been easy for the students to raise such an issue and is "immensely proud" of their actions.
"I think the students coming forward with their concerns has made a huge difference for the residents and we are very pleased that Alberta Health Services has taken the concerns expressed by the students seriously," Moore Martin said.
Jean told the legislature the documents identified 80 problems at the centre, some of which he said jeopardized patient safety.
"Would the premier trust the level of care at this hospital to her own loved ones?" he asked in question period Tuesday.
Hoffman replied, and insisted she would feel confident if her family members were being cared for at the hospital. She said solutions to the problems have since been put in place.
Alberta Health Services is investigating the issue and is now taking steps it said will ensure that patients get safe and effective care.
AHS says staff given more training
In a written statement, AHS said all 75 residents in the long-term care centre have had new health assessments and the centre has been thoroughly cleaned.
Education sessions are also being provided to staff.
The health authority said it has met with residents and their families to explain the situation.
An additional investigation is being conducted by the Protection for Persons in Care unit of Alberta Health.
The group responds to reports of potential abuse of patients in hospitals or nursing homes, in addition to examining accommodation standards.
That investigation was launched in March after Alberta Health was notified about the problems.
Alberta Health Services would not say what jobs were performed by staff placed on administrative leave, but said they'll remain on leave pending the outcome of the investigations underway.