Saint Vincent's Nursing Home safety doubted

People worried about the safety of their loved ones at Saint Vincent Nursing Home in Halifax say the government needs to add more staff.

'Enough is enough' there needs to be more staff say families

People worried about the safety of their loved ones at Saint Vincent's Nursing Home in Halifax say the government needs to add more staff.       

The home admits money is tight, but says the care is exemplary.

There are 149 residents at Saint Vincent's and some of them, like  Anne Mason, are not supposed to be left unattended for fear of falling.

But her daughter said that's exactly what happened on at least two occasions.

"I went to the dining room to get her some fresh water and a staff member again from another floor left her unattended when she was in the washroom and went across the hall to another resident,” said Linda Slaunwhite.

"I just couldn't believe it happened right in front of my eyes, but it did.”

Slaunwhite and others are concerned incidents aren't being properly documented.

Donna Hopkinson said her 93-year-old mother Maxine Major took too many antidepressants and heart medication because of a reporting error in August.

"I know med errors happen, but they need to have more staff on that floor. They need more staff. Someone is going to get hurt,” she said. "Desperately hurt."

Since 2011, there has been one critical incident report and 11 complaints under the Protection for Persons in Care Act. Four required investigations.

The government and the home said they can't talk about them because of issues around confidentiality.

Home defends record

The home said some of those incidents were reported by staff and administration. It also points out it's part of a voluntary accreditation program.

“We would say here at Saint Vincent’s that our error rate is very acceptable,” said executive director Kristin Schmitz.

“There can be up to about 400 standards that you are measured against and the last accreditation survey that we just completed and received exemplary status, we had two recommendations.”

Saint Vincent said it meets the government standard of 2.45 hours of face-to face care for each patient every 24 hours.

But Ian Johnson said his family has had to hire additional care for his mother at an extra $3,000 per month.

He said the government needs to do more.

"Enough is enough. This situation is no longer, has not been, acceptable for a long time."

For its part, the province said Saint Vincent has always taken any concerns it brought to the home's attention seriously.

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