Ontario halts admissions at 3 nursing homes after inspections reveal 'unacceptable' conditions

Three Ontario nursing homes have been ordered to suspend new admissions after inspections revealed substandard conditions, including inadequate staffing, poor maintenance and a lack of safety protocols.

Homes in Mississauga, London and Fergus can no longer accept new residents

Tyndall Nursing Home in Mississauga is one of three nursing homes to have its admissions shut down. (Chris Glover/CBC)

Ontario has told three nursing homes to stop accepting new patients over accusations of inadequate care.

The order affects the Tyndall Nursing Home in Mississauga, Earls Court Long Term Care in London and Caressant Care in Fergus.

"It is completely unacceptable that these operators are not meeting the province's standards," said Minister of Health and Long Term Care Eric Hoskins. "The distressing practice of failing to meet provincial standards will not be accepted in Ontario."

An inspection at Caressant Care in Fergus found that furnishings and equipment in the home were not properly maintained, that residents were at risk of being neglected by staff, and inadequate protocol around falls.

At Earls Court Nursing Home, inspectors found insufficient staffing and other issues that led to safety concerns. That home had previously been ordered to stop admissions in 2016, but was found to have 20 areas of non-compliance in a subsequent inspection.

Hoskins appeals to operators

In a letter to the homes, Hoskins wrote that he was "deeply concerned" by the results of recent inspections.

"I trust that you will take the outstanding compliance orders and compliance actions seriously," the minister wrote to Peter Schlegel, president of Sharon Village Care Homes, which operates the facilities in Mississauga and London.

Ontario Health Minister Eric Hoskins said it's 'unacceptable' that the homes are not meeting provincial standards. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)

"I am counting on your leadership and ask that you ensure that Earls Court Village and Tyndall Nursing Home are providing care at a standard you would expect for your own loved ones," he continued.

In a statement to CBC Toronto, Caressant Care Nursing wrote it was "working closely with the Ministry to address certain compliance deficiencies," and that its current residents would not be affected by the order.

Sharon Village Care Homes declined an interview request from CBC News.

Tyndall 'very nice'

Some people interviewed by CBC Toronto outside Tyndall Nursing Home said they were surprised by the order to suspend admissions.

"I found it very nice," said Maria Dragaca, whose friend's husband lives in the home. "I didn't see any fault at all."

Dragaca, who visited the home seven years ago when searching for a facility to care for her now-deceased husband,  described friendly staff and clean furnishings.

Maria Dragaca said she was surprised Tyndall Nursing Home was ordered to stop admissions. (CBC)

Liberals defend order

During question period Wednesday, London-Fanshawe MPP Teresa Armstrong accused the Liberal government of focusing on the worst offenders instead of opening new homes and improving care.

"[The premier] seems content to stop admissions to the worst homes and ignore the facts [that] the wait-list is growing and conditions across the province are worsening," she said.

Hoskins categorically denied the charge.

"We feel that it's entirely appropriate," he said of the admission orders, arguing that they demonstrate the vast majority of long-term care facilities are up to standard.

Hoskins is also pointing to proposed legislation that would allow the province to fine operators who violate existing standards.