The CRAP we have to listen to from CARP is almost as bad as Government Spin.
It's ridiculous that we have public monies that could go towards fixing the problems in the continuing care system being wasted on these public shows of reassurances which is what this public inquiry is all about. #PublicInquirySpin
The government of Ontario has more oversight and auditing of long term care than the less productive government of Alberta where AHS has recently told us that a province wide auditing team will find the non-compliances that a zone auditing team in Lacombe was unable to detect for mysterious reasons. I have my doubts that the province wide AHS auditing team will be able to detect non-compliances because I don't believe in an internal auditing team or self auditing.
I think the auditing should be done by an external body, this body should be independent of the folks in AHS or Alberta Health and there should be penalties provided to care providers who fail such as ending contracts with them. Why do we have to pretend that the province wide auditing team is there for the most vulnerable citizens in the continuing care system? We know what the province wide auditing team is really for. It's to ensure that the government of Alberta is not shown to be derelict in its duties again. Instead we will have a province wide team doing the audits and what? Will this change the tolerance of non-compliances that are present in four years of accommodation reports at the Lacombe long term care facility? Doubtful.
This province wide auditing team from AHS like the #PublicInquirySpin in Ontario is all about reassuring an increasingly unhappy public that is becoming aware of the failures of oversight by provincial governments in Canada.
But there you go. Folks don't want the dirt revealed. The dirt might make politicians unhappy which is bad for bureaucrats. And this goes on and on. Meanwhile the most defenceless among us have their human rights ignored. Sometimes until they are fatality cases.
Lacombe continuing care reviews complete
Four staff members were placed on leave while Alberta Health Services investigated issues with infection prevention, cleanliness and medication handling
- Thu Jul 13th, 2017 5:55pm
A more rigorous audit process will be implemented province-wide for publicly-funded continuing care facilities as a result of the serious health care concerns identified at Lacombe Hospital and Care Centre in March.
Four staff members, called leaders, were placed on leave while Alberta Health Services investigated issues with infection prevention, cleanliness, medication handling and training in the long-term care wing of the facility.
Effective June 27, those four staff were no longer working for AHS.
Reviews undertaken by AHS looked at clinical and administrative practices and found a general lack of respect for residents, a culture of dependency on the use of wheelchairs, inappropriate incontinence care, and competency concerns regarding professional practice and care delivery.
Frequent and ongoing audits will continue until AHS and Alberta Health are satisfied the site is meeting standards.
Brenda Huband, vice-president and chief health operations officer for AHS Central and Southern Alberta, said a lot has been learned.
“We really are trying to look at this as an opportunity for improvement. We’ve been able to develop a more robust relationship with families and residents so out of a not so good situation we’ve had some good things happening,” Huband said on Thursday.
In March, Wildrose leaked documents about the Lacombe investigation that showed serious breaches including: expired aseptic sterile supplies like catheters; soiled linen and garbage overflowing into hallways; slings being used communally without a clear, consistent cleaning process; medication left unsecured, unlabelled, unattended; and lack of proper training in medication management and assistance, dementia care, risk management, fall prevention, CPR, palliative/end-of-life care, safe lifts, restraints, and bathing.
The 40-page audit detailed 80 standards breached.
Concerns were initially identified by Red Deer College licensed practical nursing students while training at the facility in March.
An investigation led to thorough health assessments done on all 75 long-term care residents, along with a thorough cleaning of the wing, education sessions for staff, and improved communication between caregivers, residents and families.
Huband said an audit done later in 2016 did not show the concerns found in the April 2017.
The new audit process for continuing care health service standards should be ready for the first part of September, she said.
“The audit would be exactly the same in terms of what we’re auditing and the tools that we are using. But instead of an audit being done by, like the Central Zone, it will now be done by a team that does all of the audits across the province. They won’t be done by a geographic area.
“It’s the tool we’ve used in the past, but it’s the people and how it will be done, and where those people report, that gives its independence and takes away any perception of bias or conflict of interest.”
As evident in the laughable system of oversight in the oil and gas industry in Alberta, you can have policy and procedure, you can have "best in the world" regulations, you can have an energy regulator that penalizes oil companies for bird deaths but not for health hazards of oil and gas development or fracking pollution of water and yet--citizens are harmed as in the case of Jessica Ernst and Diana Daunheimer.
Must be a dull day at the AER. They are charging Syncrude for bird deaths but not for fracking health hazards. You gotta wonder at the spin making machinery in the system.
Syncrude charged in deaths of 31 great blue herons at oilsands mine
Oilsands giant faces maximum penalty of $500,000 for incident two years ago
By David Thurton, CBC News Posted: Aug 03, 2017 3:09 PM MT Last Updated: Aug 03, 2017 6:59 PM MT
The Alberta Energy Regulator charged Syncrude with the death of 30 blue herons at the Syncrude Canada Mildred Lake oilsands mine site north of Fort McMurray. (Canadian Press/The Interior/Wiki Creative Commons)
David Thurton is CBC's mobile journalist in Fort McMurray. He's worked for CBC in the Maritimes & in Canada's Arctic. Email: email@example.com
The Alberta Energy Regulator has charged Syncrude Canada in the deaths of 31 great blue herons discovered at a pond at the Mildred Lake mine north of Fort McMurray two years ago.
The company is charged with failing to store a hazardous substance to ensure it does not come into contact or contaminate animals, according to a news release from the regulator. The charges were laid under the Environment Protection and Enhancement Act.
Syncrude spokesperson Will Gibson said the oilsands company is "truly saddened and deeply regrets" the death of the birds that occurred in an inactive part of the mine.
"Our goal is to prevent the deaths of birds and other wildlife as a result of our operations," Gibson said. "We have already taken steps to address this after consulting with wildlife industry experts."
Canons, strobe lights, radar
Gibson said Syncrude has made changes to its waterfowl protection plan, not just at tailings facilities after similar incidents, but also on other bodies of water.
The changes include installing strobe lights, scarecrows, noise devices and a radar-based deterrence that activates propane-fired noise canons when birds approach.
There's also a central bird-monitoring and control centre with year-round staffing, especially during known bird migration times.
"We know the public expects our industry to provide energy in a responsible way," Gibson said. "We are committed to responsible development."
This incident has strengthened our resolve to make sure deterrent systems are everywhere they need to be on our sites. #ymm #oilsands 3/5
Syncrude faces a maximum fine of $500,000. It is scheduled to appear in court in Fort McMurray on Sept. 27.
The incident was reported to the AER on Aug. 7, 2015.
Fine fair or fowl?
Environmentalists are praising the charges, but some say the fine still doesn't fit the crime.
"How many times do incidents like this need to occur before we see stronger action from the government said Greenpeace spokesperson Mike Hudema. "That's a fine Syncrude can pay-off in a couple of hours worth of profits."
Cleo Desjarlais Reece, co-chair of the Keepers of the Athabasca Watershed Society, welcomed the charges.
"I am really happy," Desjarlais Reece said. "We have great concerns about our wildlife, about our birds and our water."
One of hundreds of ducks that landed on a Syncrude tailings pond on April 28, 2008. (Government of Alberta)
Syncrude was fined $3 million when more than 1,600 ducks died after landing on a tailings pond in 2008.
In October 2010, more than 550 birds died or had to be killed when an early winter storm forced them to land on waste ponds belonging to Syncrude and Suncor.
In November 2015, 122 birds were killed after landing on three tailings ponds in the area, including one at Mildred Lake.Follow David Thurton, CBC's Fort McMurray correspondent, on Facebook, Twitter or contact him via email.
This part of the article is so amusing:
"We know the public expects our industry to provide energy in a responsible way," Gibson said. "We are committed to responsible development."
Let me get this straight. The AER is concerned about herons but not people? What about Jessica Ernst and well water on fire in Rosebud, Alberta? What about Diana Daunheimer and the fracking hell in her organic farm? What about the citizens exposed to the oil and gas industry pollutants? What about them? I guess the AER doesn't want to focus on them. But herons are fine to focus on.
Thus we get this utter rot. #AERSPIN is supposed to show us that the oil and gas industry cares, it really cares and are we reassured? Nope.
You have all this overlayer of legislation supposedly to assure citizens that folks are safe and yet in the end the energy regulator for example needs to be made exempt from lawsuit--immune by law--by the government of Alberta to ensure that the energy regulator does a superficial job that reassures the public that things are just fine in Alberta.
Really? What about the tailings ponds? Who is going to believe that making a lake district out of tailings is going to solve the problem of burying toxic pollutants in these lakes? What about the fracking chemicals being injected into the land and the well water on fire in Rosebud, Alberta? How does the AER respond to these cases? The AER responds by diverting attention from harm done to human beings to harm done to BIRDS!!!! What the heck??
Meanwhile in the la la land that is Ontario government landscape we have the government there throwing up the hands of the politicians so that a JUDGE can tell them what went wrong. They are giving a judge public dollars to figure out what we already know for the same sort of diversionary spin that is endemic in Alberta with the AER "oversight" of the oil and gas industry.
What the heck?
The government of Ontario doesn't need an inquiry.
CRAP -I mean CARP doesn't need to be pretending it gives a darn about seniors because it doesn't.
And the continuing care industry that is in a mess in Ontario despite more regulation and oversight than in Alberta--well it will keep on doing what it does best-which is incompetently take care of seniors because it can do this.
The problems in the continuing care system all over Canada have been studied to death.
A child on the street could tell the folks in the government of Ontario where the problems are. But let me tell the government of Ontario the problems as I have been telling the government of Alberta. It's a matter of no one giving a damn.
No one gives a damn until the bacon is in the fire and burning.
It has to be burning so that newspapers pay attention and yap about it-then the government folks get all ready to get off their butts and do their jobs.
What this means is that families bring up issues in care to the government at all levels. No one gives a shit. No one gives a shit because we are talking about a group of people who are without any sort of power, money or voice in our society. Their human rights can be impacted and ignored because government allows this.
Government in Alberta for example allows the use of the Trespass to Premises legislation to separate residents or patients from their family members who are seen as being bothersome by the system. In the recent case of the Tucker family, they simply upped and got their mum out of the care facility and took her to the hospital in Grande Cache. This way the daddy can see the mummy in the hospital because (as of yet) the folks at AHS have not used the Trespass to Premises so the mum is now in a hospital bed rather than at a facility where the daddy can see the mummy. Is this a farce or what?
While all this junk goes on no one in government does anything about the reason for these human rights abuses because government is the reason for these human rights abuses-the government politicians made the Trespass to Premises legislation to ensure this sort of abuse.
But there you go.
We are told that staff and patients / residents must be kept safe.
Why must they be kept safe?
I guess being told about their own abuse is traumatic for all concerned.
And now we have the next big baloney step of government everywhere in Canada. Can't shut up the families? Can't get them to be intimidated and silenced? Gotta do the inquiry, the panel, the review, the spin.
It's all part of the armature of government everywhere.
And we don't think this will stop the government of Ontario in this case from being brought down in the next election for incompetence in this area.
The government of Ontario like the government of Alberta does not need an inquiry.
It needs to do it's job.
It needs auditing that results in penalty and closure of incompetent care providers.
It needs workers in the continuing care facilities who know what they are doing rather than dumbing down the system as per the situation in Alberta where nurses do respiratory therapist work, nurse practitioners do doctor work, pharmacists do doctor work and the person off the street is caring for our most vulnerable citizens without any sort of education that counts because it's all about the dollar, the dollar bill yo!
And the lack of interest of all concerned.
But there you go. The political will that is not present to change the dysfunctional continuing care system in Ontario is being summoned up to generate Public Inquiry Spin. And after the Public Inquiry Spin? Everyone will go back to sleep.
Ontario Launches Public Inquiry into the Long-Term Care Home System
Ontario Inquiry will Make Recommendations to Improve the Safety and Well-being of Seniors
August 1, 2017 – Ontario has appointed the Honourable Justice Eileen Gillese, an experienced judge of the Ontario Court of Appeal, to lead an independent public inquiry into the policies, procedures and oversight of long-term care homes.
In particular, Justice Gillese has been asked to inquire into the circumstances and systemic issues which may have contributed to the assault and death of residents who were under the care of Elizabeth Wettlaufer, a former registered nurse in long-term care homes in southwestern Ontario. The inquiry will help get answers to make sure a tragedy like this never happens again.
“We are pleased that the inquiry will look into both the circumstances and the systemic issues around the Wettlaufer case,” said Wanda Morris, VP of Advocacy, CARP, Canada leading advocacy association for older Canadians.
“This opens the door to issues like funding and staffing which may indeed by the root cause of why Wettlaufer was able to continue to kill and assault care residents for so long.”
As part of her broad mandate, Justice Gillese will review the accountability measures in place to ensure they meet the objectives of the Long-Term Care Homes Act, and provide recommendations to improve the safety and well-being of residents.
Morris adds that Commissioner Gillese appears to be a strong candidate to head up the submission. Along with her legal expertise, she has demonstrated experience in matters of business and finance.
“CARP looks forward to providing input to the inquiry to help ensure that in future, those in residential care homes can live their lives in peace and dignity and their families can have peace of mind knowing this is so,” said Morris.
Inquiry Appointment Takes Effect Today
The appointment of the commissioner takes effect today. A final report, including all recommendations, will be delivered to the Attorney General by July 31, 2019 and will be made available to the public.
“I am honoured to have been chosen to head this very important Inquiry dealing with matters that affect the lives of all those in long term care homes in Ontario. My team and I will do our utmost to determine how these events could occur and to make recommendations so that the tragedies of the past are not repeated in the future,” said Eileen Gillese, Commissioner of the Inquiry into the Safety and Security of Residents in the Long-Term Care Homes System.
Ontario’s oversight system in long-term care specifically focuses on the safety and security of residents. Appointing Justice Gillese to lead the public inquiry into the oversight of long-term care homes is one of the many steps Ontario is taking to protect the safety and well-being of residents and ensure homes across the province are meeting the highest standards of care.
“What happened to the victims and their families in southwestern Ontario was a tragedy. This inquiry will help provide answers to those affected and ensure something like this never happens again,” said Yasir Naqvi, Attorney General.
“Our parents and grandparents deserve to live in comfort, with access to the best care possible and we want to assure the public that Ontario’s 78,000 long-term care residents are safe in their homes. Justice Gillese’s recommendations will help ensure that loved ones in long-term care homes continue to be safe and secure.”
“I want to reaffirm my deepest sympathies to the families affected by this tragic situation. The safety, quality of care and quality of life of Ontario’s long-term care residents continues to be our government’s priority. This inquiry will bring critical answers that will allow our government to further ensure the safety and security of long-term care residents,” said Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care
Justice Gillese has been a sitting judge with the Ontario Court of Appeal since 2002. Previously she served as a trial judge of the Superior Court of Justice and was the Dean and Professor at Western University’s Faculty of Law.
The Gillese Inquiry will have a broader scope than the police investigation or prosecution – it will not only look at what occurred, but also look for any underlying issues that need to be addressed and make recommendations to ensure that the objectives of the Long-Term Care Homes Act are met.
Justice Gillese has served as the chair of a number of organizations, including the Pension Commission of Ontario, the Financial Services Commission of Ontario and the Financial Services Tribunal of Ontario.
Elizabeth Wettlaufer pled guilty to, and was convicted of, eight counts of first degree murder, four counts of attempted murder and two counts of aggravated assault. She has been sentenced to life in prison for these offences, which she committed while working as a registered nurse in southwestern Ontario.