Photograph by Cristian Newman
The administrator appointed to oversee two Seniors’ homes on Vancouver Island that are owned by Retirement Concepts is no longer required.
Island Health is ending Susan Abermann’s temporary appointment to take charge at Nanaimo Seniors Village and Comox Valley Seniors Village.
The directors of Island Health made the decision on July 29th following the recommendations from Medical Health Officers Dr. Charmaine Enns and Dr. Paul Hasselback.
Dr. Hasselback reported that all outstanding areas of non-compliance have been addressed.
Island Health took control of the facilities on the recommendations of medical health officers last autumn after an investigation by Island Health’s licensing program.
VIHA says there are new accountabilities and oversight to ensure quality care continues.
Island Health has imposed new contract requirements to increase financial and clinical oversight of the residence.
Board Chair Leah Hollins says, “A structure has been put into place to enable the operator to sustain the level of care and process improvements made to ensure the dignity and safety of residents.”
Health Minister Adrian Dix says the original appointment of an administrator was a significant step made by VIHA to address serious concerns identified by medical health officers.
He says, “It is my expectation that the progress made by the administrator will continue under the operator.”
Specific improvements at Nanaimo Seniors Village include:
– Improved communication to residents, families, and staff
– Implementation of required staffing increases
– Redesigned staffing model to ensure delivery of direct care hours matches funding
– Increased care hours for Residential Care Aide positions
– A strengthened leadership team
– A framework to ensure organizational policies are properly reviewed and implemented
Specific improvements at Comox Valley Seniors Village include:
– Implementation of a new on-call policy providing support to staff at all times
– Consistent protocols for staff around systems and job routines
– Increase staffing levels in nursing, therapy services, and support services
– Improved communication with families, residents, and staff through the creation of a family contact database, regular written updates, and monthly Family Council meetings
– Coordinated processes to ensure staff receive appropriate guidance and ongoing education
The contract amendments include a requirement that the operator:
– Maintain the budget established by the administrator for at least two fiscal years
– The budget cannot be changed without Island Health’s approval
– Submit a plan committing to investments in essential equipment necessary to ensure the safety of residents and staff
– Be subject to new financial recoveries for non-delivery of direct care hours and support service hours
– Submit to quarterly independent financial audits to ensure public funding is being appropriately used to deliver care that meets legislated standards
– Provide a monthly staffing report showing all vacancies and new hires
– Comply with Island Health’s wound care practice
– Comply with Island Health’s policy related to appropriate additional client charges
– Notify Island Health of all senior leadership and department leadership changes