Residence St.-Isidore in the Acadian Peninsula had the most validated complaints of all special care homes in the province in 2013 with 13.

CBC News has learned that during a three-month period the home had issues administering medication on several occasions.  

During that same period, the provincial government found there weren't enough staff members on duty to care for all residents on four different occasions.

Residence St-Isidore

Residence St-Isidore special care home on the Acadian Peninsula had 13 validated complaints made against it in three months in 2013 (CBC)

In an emailed statement to CBC News the department stated: “The investigation undertaken by Social Development concluded that there was poor communication between employees and the employer that resulted in an inadequate staff/resident ratio at times. The facility also experienced a number of staff changes, which resulted in poor medication management.”

The department added that residents experienced stress during the tumultuous period, between April 15 and June 24, 2013. 

CBC News went to Residence St.-Isidore and spoke with Jeannine Duguay, the facility's owner. She said, on her lawyer’s advice, she wouldn’t comment on camera.

She said she did not agree with the department's findings and alleged it was a handful of disgruntled employees who raised the complaints. The employees are no longer employed at Residence St.-Isidore.

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The department says it directed Residence St.-Isidore to: 

  • Provide each resident with a document informing them of the day-to-day routine and operation of the residence.
  • Provide advance notice to residents of any change concerning the operation of the residence.
  • Meet with all employees to restore communication and review their tasks, guidelines and schedules.
  • Establish a chart indicating any change with regard to a resident.
  • Review with employees the professional guidelines regarding the care provided to residents.
  • Revise and reorganize the standards for medication administration.

The department says the home now complies with all standards of care.

Four other homes in the province each had four validated complaints against them. In all, 22 homes in the province had multiple validated complaints. These complaints were investigated by the Department of Social Development and determined to have merit.

hl-krista-carr

Krista Carr of the New Brunswick Association of Community Living questions what the consequences are for special care homes with multiple violations. (CBC)

Krista Carr, the executive director of the New Brunswick Association for Community Living, said in a recent CBC News interview she has questions about what consequences there are for homes with multiple problems.

“I think licences probably do get revoked but in what situations? If you look at data that says one particular facility has had multiple founded complaints in a particular time period, my question would be what are we  what are the consequences for that? At what point do we say I think more serious action needs to be taken?” said Carr. 

' At what point do we say I think more serious action needs to be taken?'- Krista Carr, N.B. Association for Community Living

“Because people are so vulnerable, the system has an even greater responsibility and impetus I think, to really minimize the risk to those individuals.”

The Department revoked or did not renew the licences of 11 homes between 2008 and 2013.

Results skew regionally

The complaints data shows the Moncton and Acadian Peninsula regions combined account for 130 special care homes in the province and had 56 complaints. The remaining 277 homes account for the other 41 founded complaints.

The department told CBC News the apparent imbalance could be due to the way complaints are recorded. The department says in the last two weeks a new program has been implemented to help them track information.

In some regions when a complaint is investigated at a facility it might have been registered as one incident complaint per facility compared to other regions that might have registered one complaint per resident,” states the department in a May 13 email. 

“As of May 1, 2014, the department implemented new statistical tools to allow us to collect specific information more efficiently.”

CBC News called the department to request more detailed information about the new system, but that call was not returned.