CORNWALL – A Ministry of Health inspection has cited 12 violations of laws surrounding long term care when it comes to security and operations at Glen-Stor-Dun Lodge in Cornwall.
The report paints a picture of a home suffering from lax security, gaps in training and patient care and a case surrounding the use of a wheelchair seat belt on a resident.
But in an interview with Cornwall Newswatch, lodge administrator Norm Quenneville says he doesn’t want the public to “panic” when they hear about this report.
“Because, when I look at the report, one of the things the inspector told us on numerous occasions at the lodge here…they are not concerned (about)…care issues. We do not have care issues. We might have a documentation thing here, we might have (problems with) processes. Sometimes I look at that as sort of a positive thing because it means the limited staff that I have take care of our residents really well,” Quenneville tells Cornwall Newswatch.
The 29 page report was issued April 21, 2015 and was completed after a site visit for two weeks in late March.
Residents are required to have at minimum of two baths a week. However, in one case after a resident’s power-of-attorney complained about a lack of baths, investigators uncovered during interviews that no baths were given five times between Jan. 1 and March 23 because of a staff shortage. No makeup washings were scheduled. The lodge is moving to correct the scheduling of baths right away.
There were two violations surrounding the restraining of residents. A resident had a wheelchair seat belt, which was being used as a restraining device, however there was no doctor’s order for the restraint, states the report. The restraint was used 52 times in January 2015 and 49 times in February and had been used for the past four years, according to an interview with an unidentified personal support worker. Quenneville says the seat belt is a protection system to keep a resident from falling and are used minimally in the home. “It’s not necessarily the application. I have 132 residents and when they looked through all of our charts they found one resident (where) the physician’s order was missing.” Quenneville says, in that particular case, they had verbal but not written consent from the family as well as the doctor’s order was missing. Quenneville says both those issues were corrected “almost before they (the inspectors) left.”
Another written notification was made for making sure doors leading to stairways and to the outside were kept closed and locked with a security alarm. The violation surrounded the home’s system which allows employees shut off an alarm at other areas of the home from where the breach in security occurred. The report details an inspection on March 22 where an alarm purposely tripped by an inspector twice was shut off remotely by someone else in the building, states the report.
Quenneville says the so-called “call bell” system is in this year’s budget to be replaced. He also adds the system does function properly but ministry inspectors don’t like the current layout as the security control panels are a distance away (sometimes 20 to 30 feet) from a doorway or stairwell. The ministry granted an extension until November in order for GSDL to comply with the security issue.
Several areas of the report also point to employees stating they did not receive training from registered staff on how to do certain parts of their jobs. Quenneville believes that was a “misinterpretation” because staff go through mandatory training in March. “All of our staff go through mandatory training. We take the (Long Term Care Homes) Act and everything that we’re mandated to train, we train all of our staff,” Quenneville said. The administrator admits they misinterpreted part of the act because staff trained at the local college on how to apply topical creams were not re-trained at the lodge. “Why do we have to retrain them when they’re coming straight from the college? That’s a misunderstanding on how we applied that act. In the future, we were going to be doing it the way it’s interpreted from the ministry’s perspective.”
There were also violations surrounding the inspection and treatment of wounds following hospitalization, the posting of menus for meals, having a written plan of care for patients and excessively worn surfaces in the home that could harbour bacteria. Quenneville says the lodge has a lot of mahogany and they are working this year to find a non-toxic refinishing alternative. A company has been found in Toronto and are supposed to visit the lodge shortly, Quenneville said.
The home has agreed to three voluntary plans of correction to address the bathing schedules, the condition of the facility and the distribution of drugs (which include topical creams).
Quenneville says after attending a conference on the ministry’s so-called Resident Quality Inspection (RQI) reports, GSDL falls within the provincial average of 12 notifications.
“This inspection is not abnormal, it is an average inspection. For us, a few things are actually linked. Our last inspection, we only received five notifications. There were four inspectors in here for two straight weeks and when you have 600 standards – prescriptive standards – out of the 600 or so, we have 12 areas, that is an average to good inspection. I don’t have care issues which I am quite pleased about,” Quenneville noted.
A call for comment to councillor Maurice Dupelle, who sits on the board of GSDL, was not returned.