Nova Scotia

New operator of Shelburne long-term care home must maintain standards, minister says

Barbara Adams says both for–profits and non–profit providers will be allowed to apply to manage Roseway Manor in Shelburne.

Both for–profit and non–profit providers will be allowed to apply

Barbara Adams says the new operator of Roseway Manor will have to maintain the quality of care. (CBC)

Nova Scotia's minister in charge of long-term care is trying to reassure people in the Shelburne area that the new operators of Roseway Manor will provide the same quality of care.

People in the area have expressed concern after the three municipalities running the facility decided to ask the province to find a new operator. 

In April, the Town of Shelburne, the Municipality of the District of Shelburne and the Town of Lockeport all voted in favour of privatizing the long–term care home

Barbara Adams says both for–profit and non–profit providers will be allowed to apply to manage Roseway Manor.

"It's not a foregone conclusion as to who is going to become the operator," Adams said.

"I've worked in most of the long-term care facilities in metro – both the non–profit, for–profit — and the quality of care offered by the staff is fairly similar."

Roseway Manor is slated for replacement. The facility opened in 1976. (Submitted by Roy O'Donnell)

Nearly 1,000 people have signed an online petition, calling for Roseway Manor to remain a community–led facility. They say the decision to privatize Roseway Manor was made behind closed doors.

The warden of the Municipality of the District of Shelburne declined to speak to CBC about the decision.

In an email, CAO Trudy Payne sent a statement that reiterated the municipality's argument that it would be a struggle to find qualified community members to lead the board. It adds that board members would be liable.

"We do not feel it is appropriate for the Warden to provide further comment as this decision now rests with the government," wrote Payne in an email.

Adams said it's up to the three municipalities to communicate with their residents.

"The communication that they do is their responsibility," she said. "Once that process is moving forward and the expression of interest is put out, certainly we will be putting out our own messaging."

The decision to change the operator of Roseway Manor comes as Adams's department reviews the legislation around long–term care homes.

She said updates to the laws will be announced in the fall. They will include mandating 4.1 hours of care for each resident every day.

"The biggest thing is going to be ensuring that there is equity across the nursing homes across the province because some of them have different contracts with the province," said Adams. "Some older facilities have different staffing ratios."

More staff a priority, minister says

Adams said there's also discrepancies between facilities in ratios of other care providers. For example, one home may have a part-time role for a physiotherapist while another of the same size has a full-time position.

Her top goal, she said, is making sure facilities have more staff.

"We want to make sure that the equity of care across every facility in the province is equal, so we share the concern that they have," she said of those concerned about Roseway Manor.

"Our commitment is to ensure that regardless of who is operating the facility that they will meet the same standards."

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Carolyn Ray

Videojournalist

Carolyn Ray is a videojournalist who has reported out of three provinces and two territories, and is now based in Halifax. You can reach her at Carolyn.Ray@cbc.ca

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