The Montérégie Health Agency is giving a long-term care facility 30 days to comply with recommended changes after two caregivers were arrested last December and charged with mistreating elderly patients at the CHSLD in Saint-Lambert sur-le-golf.

The President and CEO of the Montérégie Health Agency, Richard Deschamps, says the accusations of assaulting and drugging elderly patients compelled the agency to order an investigation.

“Considering the seriousness of the acts that were committed, we had the obligation to do something,” said Deschamps.

The report into that investigation came out Tuesday.

The report finds the quality of care at the CHSLD meets agency standards, but lists 26 recommendations — five of which are deemed priorities.

"Despite the criticism, the report reinforces the fact that we meet the expectations regarding the quality and safety of care," said Deschamps.

Deschamps says care for patients with cognitive problems needs to be improved. 

Most of the recommended changes are based on complaints from families who have loved ones at the CHSLD St-Lambert-sur-le-Golf.

They include less turnover in staffing and improved communication between staff and families.

Louis Plamondon has been tracking complaints against the facility for three years as head of a seniors' rights group — l'Association québécoise de défense des droits des retraités.

He says the report is flawed if it concludes care at the centre is adequate.

CHSLD St-Lambert-sur-Le-Golf has 30 days comply with 26 recommendations including five deemed as priorities:

  • Ensure stable staffing
  • Develop an optimal living environment for people with cognitive problems
  • Improve communication with staff, residents and families
  • Ensure that the Complaints Commissioner is impartial and perceived
  • Clarify roles, responsibilities and strengthen the leadership

The remaining 21 recommendations focus on the quality of services offered, including the quality of the meals to leisure activities.

"It is a constant failure of the agency to be unable to monitor and manage the establishment, and indications of danger [to patients] are very high," said Plamondon.

He says he doubts the CHSLD will comply with the changes in the recommended time.

Other complaints

CHSLD St-Lambert-sur-Le-Golf is a public-private-partnership run by Groupe Savoie, which runs several other private residences.

At the time of the arrests, Plamondon said that he’d received 48 complaints of negligence from 25 families since the opening of the CHSLD St-Lambert-sur-le-Golf in 2011.

“Since the beginning, we have had a lot of problems with this establishment,” said Plamondon.

He said he’d helped some families install electronic surveillance systems in their loved ones’ rooms because of suspected abuse or negligence.

Groupe Savoie says they have always fully cooperated with authorities during any investigations at their residences.