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Arbour Cottage long term care home has license suspended

Owner operator Jaime Looten says the facility will not reopen
Arbour Cottage, a five bed long term care facility in Ladysmith had its license suspended by Island Health for numerous violations. (Arbour Cottage photo)

Island Health has suspended the care license for Arbour Cottage, a private long term care facility in Ladysmith.

The suspension was effective October 29, 2020 after numerous violations were uncovered through a series of inspections.

Island Health confirmed that all five residents of Arbour Cottage were relocated to other facilities.

“All five residents were assessed to identify their care needs and we worked closely with them and their families to support them and ensure they were placed in an appropriate care setting.”

A routine inspection on October 15 found that licensee Jaime Looten failed to take action on 22 contraventions to the Community Care and Assisted Living Act, and Residential Care Regulations.

Contraventions included an lack of updated criminal record checks for employees at the facility. Licensing reviewed 10 staff files, one criminal record check had expired, two were from different facilities, and one was missing. The inspection also found that of 10 staff files, six did not have immunization and tuberculosis information on file. Three files, including the manager, did not have current first aide certificates on file.

Other contraventions noted a lack of nutrition care plans for one of the five residents at the facility, and recreation and leisure plans were not present in two care plans.

Arbour Cottage was also found to be in contravention of public health orders in place to the prevent the spread of COVID-19. A virtual health and safety inspection uncovered that staff were only screened upon their return to work after days off, and not on a regular basis.

Many of the issues identified at Arbour Cottage were carried over from previous inspections, some as far back as January 20, 2017.

Island Health investigated two complaints that were filed against Arbour Cottage since 2019.

A complaint filed on January 2 2019 found that Looten did not immediately notify a medical health officer of a reportable incident where a person in care had been aggressive toward a staff member. Additionally the complainant stated there had not been enough food in the home, that staff had to provide food themselves to persons in care.

The second complaint, filed June 7 2020, found that Looten had not promoted the health, safety and dignity of persons in care.

“Specifically not screening for COVID-19 prior to entering the facility, social distancing was not adhered to as ordered by the Provincial Health Officer, and visitation during the COVID-19 pandemic,” observations found.

Island Health reported that Looten did submit a corrective action plan specific to the contravention that was reviewed and accepted.

Looten said he has comitted to working with Island Health to take corrective action on any remaining issues; however Arbour Cottage will not reopen. The house Looten leased to operate Arbour Cottage was sold by the owner, and he said he was given a notice to vacate the property by December 31.

“We are out and we are leaving,” he said.

Looten does not operate any other care facilities, and said he has no plans to open new long term care facilities at this time.

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