RHRA report says Rosslyn manager tried to obstruct inspection, provided false information

The provincial retirement homes regulator says the site manager of the Rosslyn Retirement Residence tried to obstruct an inspection of the facility and that it knew about mice and bed bug problems and appeared to have taken no action.

Inspection raises issues around drug storage, pests and plans of care for residents

A paramedic pushes a stretcher into the Rosslyn Retirement Residence in Hamilton, Ont. during an evacuation of the home on May 15. (Dan Taekema/CBC)

The provincial retirement homes regulator says the site manager of the Rosslyn Retirement Residence tried to obstruct an inspection of the facility and lied about leaving for a medical appointment in order to meet with a former staff member to try to "influence the inspection findings."

A report prepared by the Retirement Homes Regulatory Authority (RHRA) also says that although the home was aware of issues with mice and bed bugs, it couldn't come up with any documentation proving it had taken action to deal with the pests during the previous year.

It comes after an inspection on May 31 — the last inspection before the regulator revoked the home's licence on June 15.

The inspector cites a failure to comply with regulations around drug storage, pests and plans of care for residents, along with subsections of the Retirement Homes Act that bar people from obstructing inspections and "knowingly [providing] false or misleading information to an inspector."

The four-page report describes how the licensee's site manager tried to obstruct the inspection by "directing staff to show the inspector only fully completed resident documentation and if the inspector asked to see documentation for a resident that was incomplete to tell the inspector that the record was taken off-site.

Further, the Licensee's site manager told the inspector that she had to leave the Home to attend a medical appointment when, in fact, she went to attend a meeting with a staff member who had quit work during the inspection with the purpose of trying to get the staff member to return to work and to influence the inspection findings," it adds.

The Rosslyn is the site of the deadliest COVID-19 outbreak in Hamilton.

It was evacuated on May 15 amid an outbreak that infected 64 residents and 22 staff members.

Sixteen people who lived at the home have died, accounting for more than a third of the city's 44 COVID-19-related deaths.

Even before the home was emptied, inspections by public health and the RHRA pointed to basic issues around infection prevention and control and a "failure to protect residents from neglect."

The Rosslyn is associated with the Martino family, which owned the Royal Crest Lifecare chain of nursing homes that went bankrupt in 2003.

Representatives of the home did not immediately respond to questions about the RHRA inspection Monday evening. They have not responded to repeated requests for comment about conditions at the home before the outbreak or the fact its licence has been revoked.

The City of Hamilton has also moved to pull the home's business licence, pointing to the RHRA's initial licence revocation order as the reason.

No proof of fighting pests

During the May 31 inspection the RHRA found the home failed to ensure medication was stored in a locked, secure area and that there was no evidence of a monthly audit to track controlled substances.

Retirement homes are also required to respond to infestations in a timely fashion, however pest proved a persistent problem for the Rosslyn.

City inspections of the home between 2018 and 2020 point to evidence of bed bugs, minor cleaning issues and mice, previous reports show.

And an environmental health inspection on May 29 uncovered black mould, mouse droppings and "fuzzy dust" in the kitchen.

The most-recent RHRA inspection states the Rosslyn was aware of issues with mice and bed bugs, "but could not produce documentation to demonstrate that the Home had been taking timely action to address pests over the previous 12 month period."

Past inspections have identified issues with bed bugs and mice at the privately-owned home near Gage Park. (Dan Taekema/CBC)

Finally, it provides a list of shortcomings related to plans of care, including that each resident has a written plan of care, that resident or substitute decision makers be able to participate in the development of that plan and be made aware of any changes.

Also, a failure to comply with a subsection of the act that explains if residents require dementia, skin or would care, the home must hold an "interdisciplinary care conference."

After reviewing a sample of resident charts and care plans, the report says the inspector found they didn't meet the requirements.

Under each description of the issues is a note stating that as the RHRA has revoked the home's licence there's "no applicable follow-up."