Ontario nursing home confined residents to rooms by removing doorknobs: regulator


TORONTO – A retirement home in Courtice, Ontario. failed to protect its residents from abuse and confined them to their suites by removing doorknobs, a provincial regulator found.

The Nursing Home Regulatory Authority has released the findings of its Feb. 4 inspection of the White Cliffe Terrace retirement residence. RHRA said it learned of the situation at home through an anonymous whistleblower.

RHRA said the inspection found the home “did not comply with certain sections of the nursing home law relating to protection against abuse and neglect by residents, as well as confinement.”

Last month, CP24 and CTV News Toronto obtained a copy of a letter from Verve Senior Living, the company that manages the home, informing families that a “small” number of doorknobs have been removed.

“This was a violation of our protocols and practices. As soon as we became aware of the incident, all of the resident’s door handles were immediately reinstalled,” wrote David Bird, president and CEO of Verve Senior Living, in a letter dated February 10.

Bird said the chief executive was immediately put on leave.

Durham Police said they are also investigating the removal of the doorknobs after someone released the information.

In the RHRA report, the inspector cited evidence that “the operator removed the door handles to confine residents whose care plans did not include any safety measures.”

The operator also “knowingly provided false or misleading information to the inspector,” the report said.

In addition, a review of resident charts showed that “reassessments and revisions to care plans had not been completed in the past six months.”

Prior to the inspection, White Cliffe Terrace was struggling with a second outbreak of COVID-19.

The RHRA said it was determining next steps, including possible enforcement action.

“In the meantime, the home will take corrective action by committing to implementing an action plan that will address these concerns. This includes a full re-education of all staff on zero tolerance for abuse and neglect. residents, unconstrained policy and containment, as well as fire safety and whistleblowing policy.In addition, the home will re-educate the management team on all the appropriate actions to take during a COVID-19 outbreak. Said the RHRA.

The regulator noted that the White Cliffe Terrace retirement residence had opened a third-party investigation into those involved in the incident.

The RHRA said it would continue to monitor the home and carry out unannounced inspections.

“If we ever become aware of an immediate risk of harm to residents, we will not hesitate to use the powers given to us by the Retirement Homes Act and work with community partners to ensure the safety of residents. Said the RHRA.

– with files from CTV Toronto’s Miriam Katawazi

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