Three Ontario nursing homes ordered to stop new admissions because of substandard care

Posted on October 4, 2017 in Health Delivery System – News/Queen’s Park – The crackdown on three Ontario nursing homes came this week after the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care ordered each to “cease admissions.”
Oct. 4, 2017.   By

Three troubled Ontario nursing homes — including a Mississauga home — have been ordered to stop accepting new residents due to substandard care.

The crackdown came this week after the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care ordered each to “cease admissions,” meaning no new residents are allowed to move into the homes.

The order affects two facilities operated by the Sharon Village Care Homes chain, Tyndall Nursing Home in Mississauga and Earls Court Long Term Care in London, along with a home from the Caressant Care chain in Fergus. Both companies sent written statements to the Star, saying they will work with the ministry to resolve the problems.


The cease admissions orders are not common. Of Ontario’s 630 long-term care homes, roughly five a year are stopped from accepting new residents.

In Health Minister Eric Hoskin’s Oct. 3 letter to Sharon Village president Peter Schlegel, he called the results of the recent ministry inspection of Tyndall and Earls Court “deeply concerning.”

The ministry has “determined that there is sufficient risk of harm to the residents’ health or well-being to warrant a Cease of Admissions,” Hoskins wrote.

He highlighted problems at the London home, Earls Court, saying ministry inspectors found the staffing plan does not meet the residents’ care needs. “As a result, residents did not receive the care required,” Hoskins wrote.

Proper staffing of Ontario long-term care homes in general has long been a complaint among workers, families and the residents who suffer from lack of care.

Tyndall nursing home, located on Eglinton Ave. E. and Dixie Rd., had its annual inspection last January. The public report showed that inspectors spent 13 days in the home and found 51 violations, including problems with toileting, food, the use of restraints and communication with residents.

Earls Court in London had a “cease admissions” order in 2016, which Hoskins cited in his letter to Schlegel. In its most recent inspection, posted online, the ministry found 20 violations. Caressant Care Fergus had 14 violations in its most recent public inspection report.

The minister’s letter to Caressant Care president James Lavelle noted inspectors found “repeated” examples of resident neglect and a lack of cleanliness in the home and its furniture, but did not provide specific details.

Hoskins also said the home had not complied with previous ministry orders related to managing residents with “responsive behaviours” and the prevention of falls.

In both letters to Caressant Care and Sharon Village, Hoskin said, “As the president of a corporation that owns places that residents call home, you are entrusted with an enormous responsibility to provide high quality, dignified care to our cherished elderly family members, and our most valuable friends and neighbours,” he wrote.

In a written statement emailed to the Star, Caressant Care said its management team is “working closely with the ministry to address certain compliance deficiencies. Our first priority is to provide a high level of care to our residents.”

A statement from Schlegel, of Sharon Village Homes, said the ministry has “temporarily ceased” admissions “in order that we can rectify some areas of non-compliance. We support the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, in their efforts to ensure the public of high quality care in all Long-Term Care homes in the province.”

These orders were filed a few days after the government introduced legislation that, if passed, would create tougher enforcement against nursing homes. The legislation would include hefty fines for corporations, ranging from $200,000 for first time offence and $500,000 for subsequent offences.

It is currently in first reading and, if passed, likely won’t become law until early 2018, said Jane Meadus, a lawyer with the Advocacy Centre for the Elderly.

Unless the Strengthening Quality and Accountability for Patients Act becomes law, the “cease admissions” is one of the ministry’s best weapons, said Meadus.

“Clearly, these homes are not able to clean up their act,” Meadus said. “The ministry has no choice but to say if you can’t meet the requirements then we can’t let you accept new residents.”

She said cease admissions orders are considered serious action taken after repeated violations of provincial care regulations, because fewer residents can mean ministry funding cuts for the affected homes. It also impacts Ontario’s long waiting list, removing beds for residents who need a place to live.

“I think that with all the problems we are seeing in the media with long term care homes, the ministry is finally getting the message,” Meadus said.

In a statement to the Star about the ministry action, Hoskins said, “. . . it is completely unacceptable that these operators are not meeting the province’s standards. The distressing practice of failing to meet provincial standards will not be accepted in Ontario.”

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One Response to “Three Ontario nursing homes ordered to stop new admissions because of substandard care”

  1. Dear editor,
    I believe the shortcomings of these 3 facilities largely reflect the circumstances of many other long-term care facilities (LTCF) across Ontario. Suggesting that these issues go beyond LTCF themselves and derive from existing structural conditions. This is attributed to the vastly growing aging population and the underfunded long-term care and retirement structure. Consequently, employees are overworked, underpaid and required to manage multifarious and time-consuming matters of care for numerous residents. In LTCF residents are typically 70+ years of age and may have chronic illnesses, difficulties with memory, mobility, and incontinence and require assistance to complete daily routines, such as dressing or bathing themselves. For my job I was required to tend to these complex care needs of 10+ residents on my own and I only made minimum wage. These dynamics make it particularly difficult to ensure cost-effective, viable, and ethical care for residents and safe and reasonable job-capacity circumstances for employees. Perpetuating a strenuous cycle for LTCF employees, to have to constantly be doing more with less. From this it is not surprising to me that agencies are falling short of provincial standards. The penalization methods Welsh (2017) highlighted, which halt admissions and could in the future fine LTCF corporations $100,000’s+ do nothing more than make residents and those employed to care for them suffer further. I predict that current conditions will continue to worsen, unless wages and working conditions are improved and the resident to employee ratio is sufficient.


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