Saskatchewan

CEOs tour Sask. long-term care facilities; problems persist

The Government of Saskatchewan has posted a round of results from CEO tours of long-term care facilities in health regions across the province.

Annual tours across province seek to identify improvement areas

Health Minister Dustin Duncan is set to address media Wednesday about the results of the 2014 CEO tours of long-term health care facilities in the province, which have faced a number of reported challenges. (CBC News)

The Government of Saskatchewan has posted a round of results from a project meant to look at challenges facing long-term health care facilities in the province.

In each Regional Health Authority (RHA), CEOs are taking annual tours of the facilities to identify areas for improvement and to find out whether or not certain measures are working well.

Reports for the 2014 tours are now posted on the government's website.

A government news release highlights positive improvements such as promotion of fresh and local foods in some RHAs, additional recreation staff at Prince Albert Parkland Health Region leading to increased ability among residents to complete daily tasks, and intentional rounding among hospital staff at the Kelsey Trail leading to better response times.

However, elsewhere problems persist. For example, in Saskatoon — the biggest RHA in the province — significant challenges persist. Residents repeatedly reported inadequate staffing levels and the need for more than one bath per week. In addition, a nursing home reported that staffing shortages led to continent residents soiling themselves.

In the fall of 2013, the $10.04-million Urgent Issues Action Fund was created to address priority issues found in the CEO tours. In December 2014, the funding increased by another $3.8 million due to ongoing concerns.

Problems leading up to the funding announcement included a lack of baths at the facilities and patients reported as being left on toilets.

In October 2014, 74-year-old Margaret Warholm died after falling in a Regina nursing home. A report from the Saskatchewan Ombudsman released this May found that proper guidelines were not followed leading up to her death.

Health Minister Dustin Duncan is speaking to media Wednesday morning about the reports.

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