Ministry halted admissions at nursing home where Wettlaufer worked because of 'medication issues'

There were 41 incidents involving medication recorded at Caressant Care including cases where meds were given to the wrong patient, given in the wrong dose and 22 cases where it wasn't given at all.

41 incidents involving drugs were recorded at the home between August and December 2016

Elizabeth Wettlaufer is escorted into the courthouse in Woodstock, Ontario on Friday, Jan. 13, 2017. (Dave Chidley/Canadian Press)

The Ontario health ministry halted admissions to Caressant Care, the nursing home where Elizabeth Wettlaufer allegedly killed seven elderly patients, after inspectors discovered cases where medication had gone missing, been given in the wrong dosage and given to the wrong patients.

The Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care stopped admissions at the Woodstock long-term care home on Jan. 25 because of a belief there was a "risk of harm to the health or well-being of residents in the home," according to a directive signed by Karen Simpson, director under the Long-Term Care Homes Act inspections branch.

A woman walks into the Caressant Care facility in Woodstock, Ont. (Dave Chidley/Canadian Press)

On Thursday the ministry released eight reports detailing evidence of 41 incidents involving medication recorded between August and December 2016 — more than two years after Wettlaufer stopped working at the home.

They include:

  • five cases where medication was given to the wrong resident
  • Three cases where medication was given at the wrong time
  • Six cases where the wrong dose of medication was given
  • 22 cases where medication wasn't given at all 
  • one case where medication was given without a prescription from a doctor

"The severity of this non-compliance is actual harm/risk, the scope is widespread," reads an inspector's report dated Jan. 24, one day before admissions at the home were halted.

On Friday Caressant Care spokesman Lee Griffi declined comment on the reports and reissued a statement from the company that was prepared after admissions were stopped. It referred to "immediate changes" and "extra efforts to exceed Ministry standards."

The reports released Thursday also refer to a resident's report of physical abuse by a staff member that wasn't investigated because a registered nurse felt the resident "often said things that were unrealisitc."

Investigators also had concerns around food, medical treatment and neglect at the long-term care home.

Wettlaufer, 49, worked at Caressant Care from 2007 to 2014. She faces eight first-degree murder charges, four attempted-murder charges and two counts of aggravated assault in connection with alleged crimes over the last decade at three long-term care facilities where she worked, as well as a private home.