An annual report released by the the Office of the Seniors Advocate’s (OSA) which provides information on all publicly funded long-term care homes in British Columbia has found that Northern Health had 41 total facility inspections with 142 licencing infractions for an overall rate of 119.6 infractions per 1,000 beds in 2019. (File photo)

Northern Health leads B.C. in licencing infractions for long-term care facilities

The health region also leads the Province with a 100 per cent substantiated complaint rate

When it comes to licensing infractions, Northern Health is leading the way.

In 2019 the healthcare provider had 41 total facility inspections with 142 licensing infractions for an overall rate of 119.6 infractions per 1,000 beds.

It’s a rate 278 per cent higher than any other health region in the province, with Interior Health coming in a distant second at 43 infractions per 1,000 beds.

Provincially, it’s 311 per cent higher than B.C.’s average of 38.4 infractions.

READ MORE: Indigenous health care a major topic for Northern Health

The findings come from the Office of the Seniors Advocate quick fact directory, an annual report that provides information on all publicly funded long-term care homes in B.C.

Long-term care facilities in B.C. are regulated and licensed under the Community Care and Assisted Living Act or the Hospital Act, regardless of funding. The Health Authority Community Care Facility Licensing programs issue licences and conduct inspections to ensure facilities are providing safe care to residents.

While licensing infractions can refer to any number of things contrary to those acts, the most common infractions across the province related to care and supervision (21 per cent), records and reporting (19 per cent), the physical environment (19 per cent), and staffing (13 per cent).

The health region also led the province in substantiated complaint rates, with 100 per cent of Northern Health’s five complaints made and reviewed by its licensing offices being deemed substantiated.

This is, again, just under three times higher than the provincial average of 36 per cent.

The report also notes NH does not report complaints for facilities licensed under the Hospital Act.

In an emailed response communications officer with Northern Health Eryn Collins told The Interior News the healthcare provider is committed to continually improving the care it provides seniors.

“Northern Health’s focus is on improving supports in the community to support seniors in remaining independent as long as possible, as our seniors are clear they want to age in place/live in their homes with support. These supports are aimed at keeping seniors in their home environments as long as possible, or in other accessible living environments, potentially including long term care.”

In the email Collins added Northern Health’s smaller number of long-term care facilities, and smaller facilities due to geography and population can make the ‘complaints per thousand beds’ for the region appear disproportionately high.

She said that, interpreted another way, NH facilities average approximately 3.3 infractions per inspection — comparable to that of other health regions.

“That said, and as the OSA report indicates, many infractions can be directly linked to staffing challenges, which the North has had and continues to experience. Northern Health has developed a robust Human Resource Plan to support recruitment to current vacancies and new positions in long-term care. We are also working closely with the Ministry of Health with respect to recruitment and retention of staff in long-term care settings, such as care aides.”

“It’s also very important to note that this data reflects only complaints to licensing; there are many other channels through which concerns can be raised.”

READ MORE: Northern Health investigates racist posts of possible employee

While the healthcare provider might not have fared so well in some areas, in others it did quite well.

Northern Health only had 105 reportable incidents from 2018-2019, a rate of 8.8 reportable incidents per 100 beds.

That’s just over half the provincial average of 15.8, however it’s down from a rate of 16.2 for 2017-2018.

The health region also leads the pack in terms of meeting provincial guidelines for direct care hours, with 100 per cent of long-term care facilities in the region meeting requirements.

DCH refer to hours of direct care between patients and nursing staff, care aides, or allied health care workers, such as physical, occupational or recreational therapists, speech language pathologists, social workers and dietitians. Guidelines set by the Ministry of Health state residents in long-term facilities should receive 3.36 DCH daily.

At 3.47 DCH, Northern Health was the only region to achieve or exceed those recommendations. The provincial average was 3.25 DCH per long-term care facility.



trevor.hewitt@interior-news.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Province, feds, Wet’suwet’en announce progress in MOU talks

Community engagement process launched to implement northern B.C. First Nation’s rights and title

COVID-19 tests come back negative in remote First Nation community

“There are no suspected cases in the community at this time.”

‘Don’t kill my mom’: Ryan Reynolds calls on young British Columbians to be COVID-smart

‘Deadpool’ celebrity responds to premier’s call for social influence support

Unofficial holidays: here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Aug. 16 to 22

World Photography Day, Black Cat Appreciation Day and Rum Day all coming up this week

Captain Horvat’s OT marker lifts Canucks to 4-3 win over Blues

Vancouver takes 2-0 lead in best-of-7 NHL playoff series with St. Louis

Widow of slain Red Deer doctor thanks community for support ahead of vigil

Fellow doctors, members of the public will gather for a physically-distanced vigil in central Alberta

Protesters showcase massive old yellow cedar as Port Renfrew area forest blockade continues

9.5-foot-wide yellow cedar measured by Ancient Forest Alliance campaigners in Fairy Creek watershed

Taking dog feces and a jackhammer to neighbourhood dispute costs B.C. man $16,000

‘Pellegrin’s actions were motivated by malice …a vindictive, pointless, dangerous and unlawful act’

Racist stickers at Keremeos pub leaves group uneasy and angry

The ‘OK’ hand gesture is a known hate-symbol

VIDEO: World responds to B.C. girl after pandemic cancels birthday party

Dozens of cards and numerous packages were delivered to six-year-old Charlie Manning

Most Read