Government of Ontario press release – On Thursday, July 30/2020, Ontario released two reports and announced new initiatives that further deliver on recommendations made by the Honourable Eileen E. Gillese, Commissioner of the Long-Term Care Homes Public Inquiry, that will make long-term care safer and stronger, now and in the future.
The “Report Back on the Gillese Inquiry” provides an update on accomplishments in four key areas recommended by Justice Gillese: increasing awareness, prevention, deterrence and detection of intentional harm in long-term care homes. The Gillese Inquiry provided a thorough analysis and recommendations for making the long-term care system safer, and to date, 80 per cent of the recommendations are complete or underway.
“My heart goes out to the victims, the victims’ families that have been affected, and the surviving victim,” said Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Long-Term Care. “Our government’s efforts follow Justice Gillese’s clear roadmap to achieve 21st century safety standards in long-term care and we will continue to build on and deliver the high-quality of care our residents deserve.”
As part of Ontario’s long-term care modernization, the “Long-Term Care Staffing Study Report,” was released as well. This study will inform the development of a comprehensive staffing strategy to be released later this year. The study was informed by an external Long-Term Care Staffing Study Advisory Group composed of resident and family advocates, operators, academics and other industry thought-leaders. This group provided the government with advice on staffing in the long-term care sector in response to a key recommendation in Justice Gillese’s report.
The province is investing in a $10 million annual training fund to help frontline care staff acquire new skills, including the flexibility and resiliency needed to adapt to changing practices.
Delivering on Justice Gillese’s recommendations, Ontario has entered into a three-year, $1.8 million partnership with the Institute for Safe Medication Practices Canada to help long-term care homes strengthen medication safety practices. Ontario also plans to launch a Medication Safety Technology program next spring to help homes adopt new technologies to strengthen medication dispensing safety and consistency.
“Our actions today are part of a broader modernization plan to build a safer and stronger long-term care system for our loved ones,” said Minister Fullerton. “I want to thank my Parliamentary Assistant, MPP Effie Triantafilopoulos for her leadership and tireless work on this staffing report, which will lead us into our staffing strategy later this year.”
- Already this year, we have announced $243 million in emergency funding for staffing, supplies and capacity, provided additional funding of $78.2 million to preserve front-line staff and maintain current levels of service provided for resident care and accommodation, allocated $10 million to support education and professional development for front line staff, and provided $22.8 million to launch a minor capital program in the long-term care sector.
- Ontario’s long-term care homes employ over 100,000 staff across the province.
- The largest proportion of employees in long-term care are personal support workers, registered nursing staff, including registered practical nurses, registered nurses and nurse practitioners, and allied health professionals such as activity assistants, dieticians, occupational and physical therapists and social workers.
- Rising complexity of care, staffing shortages and high daily care needs of residents are some of the key challenges faced by the long-term care sector.
- In response to Justice Gillese’s recommendations, the province recently developed a poster campaign to educate staff, families and visitors to long-term care homes of their obligation to report suspicions of abuse or neglect among residents to the Ministry of Long-Term Care.
- Read the Report Back on the Gillese Inquiry
- Find out more about the province’s Long-Term Care Staffing Study Report
- Read about Ontario’s Independent Long-Term Care COVID-19 Commission
- Read the Honourable Eileen E. Gillese’s report titled The Public Inquiry into the Safety and Security of Residents in the Long-Term Care Homes System