27 May 2020 – Government responds to reports on high-risk long-term care homes

Type of Intervention: Specific Action, Other Announcement
Sectors Involved: Health
Intervention Categories: Legal and policy; Reviews
Level of Jurisdiction: Ontario
Lead People/Agency: Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Long-Term Care; Premier Doug Ford

Overview: The Ontario government is taking immediate action at high-risk long-term care homes following serious allegations outlined by reports from the Canadian Armed Forces on five long-term care homes at which the military has been assisting with. The reports detailed serious concerns about infection prevention, safety, staffing, and level of care, indicating a clear need for immediate action on Ontario’s long-term care system. The government launched an active investigation based on the reports, and announced an independent commission into the system beginning in July.
The Ministry of Long-Term Care has deployed inspection teams to conduct detailed assessments at high-risk long-term care homes and temporary management has been enacted at several homes that were identified as high-risk in the CAF report. These inspections will include in-depth interviews with staff and residents, reviews of charts and records, and observations to determine the severity and extent of the issues present in the homes. The Ministry uses a risk-based inspection approach, under the recommendation of the province’s Auditor General. This approach aims to prioritize issues and homes based on risk of harms to the residents. After completing the inspection, the Ministry will conduct regular monitoring and unannounced inspections, posting the results publicly. Effective immediately, each of the high-risk long-term care homes will be required to submit a plan to the Ministry detailing how they intend to return to an acceptable level of care.
Full details here: https://news.ontario.ca/opo/en/2020/05/ontario-taking-action-at-high-risk-long-term-care-homes.html

Other links: 1
Type of Justification: Advice of INTERNAL government advisory committee or group, Scientific Evidence (e.g. academic paper, report)
Source of Evidence or Justification: National – other, Sub-national, Ontario’s Auditor General
Evidence/Justification: The Ontario government explains that their priority is to protect those most vulnerable across the province, to fix the “broken” long-term care system, and to provide accountability and justice after receiving the appalling Canadian Armed Forces report. Actions that are to be taken, including inspections and regular monitoring and remediation plans, were developed from the recommendations and results of the CAF reports. Approaches to these inspections are recommended by Ontario’s Auditor General.