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

Property on the Trans Canada Highway beside the Country Maples Campground has been sold and will become a modular home park. (Photo submitted)
Development, business transactions significant for Chemainus

Two highway properties and Owl’s Nest Bakery and Bistro sold

Chris Istace campaigning in Crofton. (Photo submitted)
Green Party’s Istace apologizes for remark about First Nations gaming grants being a ‘handout’

Candidate determined to do better in thinking and communicating matters of reconciliation

Debby Baker completed her 671km walk in style with a celebration at Eagles Hall in Ladysmith (Submitted photo)
671 kilometres later, Debby Baker raises $5,000 for local charities

Baker travelled the distance from Ladysmith to the Dalles, Oregon – all without leaving the Island

Jenna Forster moderated the Virtual All Candidates Forum between Duck Paterson (top left); Chris Istace (top right); and Doug Routley (Youtube/Ladysmith Chamber of Commerce)
Nanaimo-North Cowichan candidates state their case in virtual debate

Duck Paterson, Chris Istace, and Doug Routley are on the ballot for October 24

Dinner shows in the Playbill Dining Room are keeping the Chemainus Theatre going during the pandemic. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Dinner events satisfying for the Chemainus Theatre and patrons

Small groups enjoy entertainment and the food in the Playbill Dining Room

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry presents modelling of COVID-19 spread in B.C., March 25, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. sets another COVID-19 record with 203 new cases

up to 1,766 active cases in B.C., two more deaths

Members of the Sipekne’katik First Nation load lobster traps on the wharf in Saulnierville, N.S., after launching its own self-regulated fishery on Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Vancouver Island First Nations back Nova Scotia’s Indigenous lobster fishermen

Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council calls for action before lives are lost

Skiers line up to start the Royal LePage Comox Valley Snow to Surf Adventure Relay Race. Photo by Tim Penney
Popular Comox Valley adventure race cancelled for 2021

COVID forces Comox Valley Royal LePage Snow to Surf Adventure Relay Race cancellation again

Rio Tinto Alcan’s aluminum smelter at Kitimat competes against producers in the Middle East and Russia that have no carbon tax. (Rio Tinto)
B.C. carbon tax highest in Canada, export industries unprotected

B.C. NDP, B.C. Liberals say they’re looking at exemptions

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

(Pixabay)
Vancouver teacher suspended after swearing, touching students and complimenting underwear

McCabe touched students, including rubbing their backs and necks, touching their hair and hugging them

Sails down, masks up for Ron and Sherry Pryde, who completed a 119 day journey that was supposed to be 70 days. (Zoe Ducklow)
Coast Guard towed rudderless sailors to Port Hardy hours before a powerful storm

Rudderless for a month, the couple zigzagged most the way home with “a few donuts and lazy-eights”

A glimpse of some of the 480 (approx) cars written off as a result of the acid spills along the Trail highway in 2018. Photo: Trail Times
2 years after huge highway acid spill, Kootenay Ford dealer’s frustration grows with ICBC

Trail AM Ford owner Dan Ashman says he just wants fair compensation from ICBC

Most Read