P.E.I. government board says 3 long-term care homes still not meeting standards
'I think we really have to get serious about saying old people count'
In its most recent licensing decision, the P.E.I. Community Care Facilities and Nursing Homes Board has ruled that three privately run long-term care homes — Garden Home, South Shore Villa and Clinton View Lodge — are still not meeting the provincial inspection standards for full licences.
The three homes have been operating with provisional licenses, and that status will continue until at least the end of the month, according to rulings posted online Thursday night.
As well, an admission freeze at Clinton View Lodge has been left in effect, meaning the facility cannot take in any new residents.
Nobody from the P.E.I. Department of Health and Wellness or the homes involved was available for comment Friday.
Whisperwood Villa is also operating under a provisional licence, with a review pending by the end of the month.
Pat Armstrong is a long-term care researcher from York University in Ontario. She said if for-profit care homes across the country can't reach the appropriate standards of care, the provincial government involved should consider taking control of the facilities.
"One of the problems is when you contract out these services and they fail to do what you tell them to do, then it's very, very hard to close them down, because what are you going to do with the people that are in them?" said Armstrong.
"So we need to start making sure from the beginning that the quality of their care is there. This is about people's lives."
The licensing letters sent to the P.E.I. long-term care homes also call for updated wound care policies, staff education and evidence that gaps in service regarding wound care have been addressed.
That's something Armstrong said can be a matter of life and death.
Wound care sounds like it's kind of minor, but it isn't. It can wreck your life and kill you in the end if it isn't handled appropriately.— Pat Armstrong
"Wound care sounds like it's kind of minor, but it isn't. It can wreck your life and kill you in the end if it isn't handled appropriately," she said.
"So I think we really have to get serious about saying old people count."
Dr. Samir Sinha is the director of geriatrics at Sinai Health and University Network in Toronto. He is also the chair of the Health Standards Organization (HSO) technical committee that developed new national long-term care standards released at the end of January.
He said it's "concerning" that the P.E.I. long-term care homes are not meeting provincial standards, especially since those standards are less comprehensive than the new national standards.
"In Prince Edward Island there is, you know, a criteria through which private homes are evaluated. But when you look at the new [national] long-term care standard, for example, there are a lot of discrepancies between what it covers and how comprehensive it is and what the P.E.I. standards do or do not actually cover as well."
Sinha said every Islander deserves the same level of care, and every home should receive the same level of public funding, regardless of whether they are publicly run or privately run.
Interviewed for a Feb. 7 news story, Ramsay Duff, president of the Nursing Home Association of P.E.I. and CEO of the MacLeod Group of seniors homes, pointed out that private care homes receive about $135 per resident per day while government-run manors get closer to $280.
Sinha thinks that should change.
"If I had a magic wand, I would say let's standardize how we fund long-term care in Prince Edward Island, let's make sure everybody is being held accountable against the same national standard by accreditation, inspection and enforcement mechanisms, and let's make sure that there's a high level of accountability to the members of the public," he said.
With files from Sheehan Desjardins