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Two more 'critical incidents' of abuse reported at Wellington Terrace

Of the seven notifications, half detailed issues with personal support workers not providing adequate care

FERGUS ‒ Two more "critical incidents" of abuse were identified at Wellington Terrace during provincial inspections in September. 

Detailing two critical incidents of abuse with one involving multiple residents, Wellington Terrace received seven written notifications of compliance issues related to resident care and support services, continence care, infection prevention and control, and prevention of abuse and neglect during the province's Longterm Care Operations Division’s inspection of the facilities.  

"The critical incidents were addressed and documentation was given to the ministry during their visit," said Wellington Terrace LTCH administrator Suzanne Dronick, in an emailed statement. "We have a robust education plan annually and will continue to train staff in alignment with legislation." 

In one instance, when a resident called for assistance, a personal support worker (PSW) attended to the resident but did not assist with care because it was outside of their scheduled routine.

The report said the resident did not receive care for an additional 30 minutes although the resident called for assistance 20 minutes later. 

While this incident was witnessed, it was not reported immediately and may have led to a delayed response, said the report. 

"Late reporting can occur when staff take/need some time to reflect," said Dronick, who clarified only one of the two critical incidents last month was reported late. "We are continuing to educate staff on the importance of immediate reporting."

Of the seven notifications, half detailed issues with PSW's not providing adequate care, with one incident putting a resident at risk of choking and another leaving a resident in discomfort after a PSW put them at risk of altered skin integrity.

According to Dronick, the majority of written notifications were related to PSW's because they have more direct care time with residents and make up the Terrace's largest staffing group. 

"We have received feedback from the compliance division that the Terrace has a favourable compliance history, including this inspection," said Dronick. "With new legislation and with the province's commitment to increase the inspector presence in Home, we are being told that we can expect them much more frequently." 

Dronick would not say how the subject staff members were disciplined and if they still work at the Terrace. 

Earlier this year, the county's Information, Heritage and Seniors committee heard of several “critical incidents” of abuse detailing verbal abuse and rough treatment of residents, with one PSW terminated as a result. 

Isabel Buckmaster is the Local Journalism Initiative reporter for GuelphToday. LJI is a federally-funded program.

About the Author: Isabel Buckmaster, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Isabel Buckmaster covers Wellington County under the Local Journalism Initiative, which is funded by the Government of Canada
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