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OMBUDSMAN LONG-TERM CARE INVESTIGATION WILL LOOK AT ACCOUNTABILITY, STANDARDS AND HOW CONCERNS ARE ADDRESSED

2015-01-27

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In a letter to Minister of Health, Dustin Duncan, Ombudsman Mary McFadyen reported yesterday that her Office is making progress with its investigation into the adequacy of care at the Santa Maria Senior Citizens Home. She said that initial interviews have taken place with the family, as well as with officials from the Ministry of Health, the Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region and Santa Maria – and that all have been cooperative.

The request for investigation came from the Minister of Health on November 20, 2014 in light of concerns that were raised by family members of a former resident of Santa Maria. Since then, McFadyen says that her Office has received about 35 complaints about the quality of care in long-term care facilities.

She says that the issues being raised include poor quality of care, low staff-to-resident ratios, a poor organizational culture within facilities, lack of communications with families and residents, and a long-term care system lacking in accountability. Some complaints will be addressed individually and others will be addressed as part of this investigation, which will consider the following questions:

  1. Does Saskatchewan’s long-term care delivery model set out clear roles, responsibilities and accountability for the Ministry of Health, the health regions and long-term care facilities?
  2. How do the Ministry of Health, the health regions, and long-term care facilities ensure that appropriate standards of care are being met at long-term care facilities?
  3. What factors impact the quality and delivery of care at long-term care facilities?
  4. Are there effective processes in place for addressing the concerns of residents and their families?

McFadyen hopes to complete her investigation this spring, but is mindful that other factors may affect the timing as her Office’s work progresses.

The Ombudsman is an officer of the Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan who promotes and protects fairness and integrity in the design and delivery of government services. The Ombudsman has the authority to take complaints from citizens who believe that a government ministry, branch, board, commission, Crown corporation or other agency of the government, or a publicly-funded health agency has not dealt fairly with them. The Ombudsman operates under The Ombudsman Act, 2012.

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Media contact:
Leila Dueck
Director of Communications
Ombudsman Saskatchewan
Phone: 306-787-7369
E-mail: ldueck@ombudsman.sk.ca

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