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Ontario to double number of inspectors for Long-Term Care facilities

Ontario to double number of inspectors for Long-Term Care facilities

One of the big complaints that was heard during the COVID crisis in Long-Term Care homes was the lack of inspections by ministry officials. Time and again there were reports of almost no surprise inspections of LTC facilities due to staffing shortages. Today the province announced it will spend $20 million this year to hire 193 new inspections staff and launch an improved annual proactive inspections program in long-term care homes.

The funds will double the current number of long-term care inspectors by fall of 2022, In a release the Ministry says, “Ontario will be the leader in Canada with a ratio of one inspector for every two homes. This will ensure there are enough inspectors to proactively visit each home every year, while continuing reactive inspections to promptly address complaints and critical incidents. Some of the province’s new inspectors will have an investigative background – ensuring that, for the first time, the inspectorate have the skills and certification needed to investigate and lay provincial offence charges when warranted.”

The program will take a resident-centred approach by allowing for direct discussion with residents, to focus on their care needs as well as the home’s program and services.

The changes come in response to the findings of the Long-Term Care COVID-19 Commission and the Auditor General — as well as calls from residents, their families, the public and those working in the sector for an effective enforcement regime that ensures residents are protected.

The new proactive inspections program focuses on the following program areas: residents’ rights, infection prevention and control, plans of care, abuse and neglect, nutrition and hydration, medication management, policies and directives, and dining observations.

Since the start of 2021, provincial inspectors conducted 1,367 inspections in long-term care homes in response to complaints and critical incidents.

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