Interior Health intervenes after series of problems at Summerland Seniors Village | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Interior Health intervenes after series of problems at Summerland Seniors Village

Summerland Seniors Village is pictured in this undated image from Google Street View.

After ongoing problems with its site leadership, care planning, staff education and training, Summerland Seniors Village has had an administrator appointed by Interior Health to manage the day-to-day long-term care operations.

“Ensuring that seniors living in publicly funded, long-term care are receiving the high quality, safe and dignified care they need and deserve is Interior Health’s top priority and is at the heart of this decision,” Dr. Doug Cochrane, IH Board Chair said, in a press release.

Vanda Urban, an experienced health-care leader with expertise in long-term care, has been appointed to the role — full-time and effective immediately — for a period of six months. Urban has a long resume of related experience and is also familiar with Summerland Seniors Village and was directly involved in recent quality reviews at the site.

The board’s decision was based on a recommendation from Interior Health Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Sue Pollock who, after numerous site visits by IH Licensing and Quality staff, determined that the operator of the long-term care facility was unable to meet the legislated standards of care for residents.

Pollock said despite efforts over many months, the operator was still not meeting expectations defined in the provincial Community Care and Assisted Living Act.

In the last couple of years about a dozen complaints were filed and many more infractions found by Interior Health at the Summerland Seniors Village.

Inspection reports that are available on the Interior Health web page show 11 instances where complaints were filed and substantiated by inspectors.

Many have to do with staff shortages but, it’s the consequences of those shortages that may have an impact on residents.

For example, a Sept. 2, 2018 complaint was investigated on Sept. 21, 2018 and stated “staffing levels/difficulties continue to impact the care of persons in care; particularly medication administration in this case.”
While that refers to a specific complaint, there were three other citations in that report saying the operator was “not in compliance” with Residential Care Regulations.

“Upon review of the documentation provided by the Manager and Director of Care, it has been confirmed that some persons in care did not receive medication according to their care plans; it was either administered late or not administered at all,” states another part of the report.

A third citation said the systems put in place to audit and self-monitor “remain ineffective,” and the fourth talked about medication errors not being reported properly.

It’s a similar case with all the other complaints – while the complaint itself was substantiated, other examples of not being in compliance with regulations were also listed.

Other problems noted since September 2018 had to do with frequency of baths, an employee taking residents off-site without having a current first aid/CPR certificate, one case of leaving patients in bed until 12:30 p.m. and giving them “Boost” drinks in their rooms rather than taking them to the dining room.

There was also a case of there being no record of one patient being given their medicine for three consecutive days, the authorities not being notified of “aggressive or unusual behaviours” and restraint records being incomplete.

The most recent complaint was made Oct. 11, 2019 and the inspection report was filed Dec. 13. It was about care plans not being reviewed once a year.

But a routine follow-up investigation dated Dec. 18, 2019 refers to the “person in care or their representative” not consenting to a restraint care plan and an employee not meeting “employment requirements.”

The newly appointed administrator will be responsible for the operation and management of the care home, supporting critical functions including:

• Care planning and delivery ?
• Site management ?
• Staff recruitment, orientation and education ?
• Developing and implementing policies and procedures ?
• Overall compliance with the legislated standards of care ?

Summerland Seniors Village is a privately owned, long-term care home operated by West Coast Seniors Housing Management, which manages the Retirement Concepts group of companies.
Summerland Seniors Village has 112 long-term care beds. Interior Health publicly funds 75 of the beds. Twelve beds are currently closed to admissions.

West Coast Seniors Housing Management operates two other long-term care facilities in Interior Health – one in Kamloops and one in Williams Lake. IH does not have similar quality or licensing concerns with these sites.

In 2013, an administrator was appointed at Summerland Seniors Village for four months when the facility was under different ownership.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Kathy Michaels or call 250-718-0428 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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