Working Together to Provide Safe Care to Residents in Long-Term Care

Long-Term Care Task Force Delivers First Progress Report

TORONTO, January 30, 2013 /Canada NewsWire/ - The Long-Term Care Task Force on Resident Care and Safety has issued its first semi-annual progress report. The Task Force was established by the sector in November 2011 to respond to media reports and public concern about incidents of abuse and neglect in long-term care homes and an underreporting of these incidents. Following a period of consultation, the Task Force issued a report in May 2012 that recommended 18 actions to improve the safety of residents in long-term care homes in Ontario.

"I am encouraged by the progress the sector has made to implement the recommendations of their Task Force. My ministry has been working closely with task force members, and I am proud of the actions and recent investments the ministry has made to further support long term care homes, and staff to improve the care and safety of residents," said Deb Matthews, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care.

"We have established open and clear communication processes to support our planning, co-ordination and decision-making to ensure that the public and stakeholders are kept informed of new developments that will contribute to the delivery of safe care for residents living in long-term care homes," said Donna Rubin, CEO, Ontario Association of Non-Profit Homes and Services for Seniors.

This first progress report highlights the foundational work undertaken by the Task Force to establish desired outcomes for each of the 18 actions. While it is still early days, the Task Force is pleased that there has been progress on the eleven sector-led actions and the six actions being led by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC). The final action charged the Task Force with overseeing implementation of the actions over a three-year period and reporting publicly on progress every six months.

"This first progress report demonstrates the Task Force's commitment to monitoring the progress of the Action Plan over the next three years," said Phyllis Hymmen, Concerned Friends of Ontario Citizens in Care Facilities. "We have created a unique and comprehensive partnership of Ontario long-term care stakeholders, and this augurs well for resident care and safety in Ontario's long-term care homes," Hymmen added.

Highlights include initial work on an educational strategy for residents and families; the launch of a Safe Care campaign for long-term care homes; training for LTC leaders on supporting staff in the use of capacity building tools to support quality care; and, targeted investments by the MOHLTC to support the recruitment and specialized training of LTC staff and to support improved resident care and safety overall.

"The Task Force recognizes that education will help drive and support culture change but there is also much that we can learn within long-term care homes," said Donna Fairley, Executive Director, Ontario Association of Residents' Councils. "It is important we all listen to the voices of residents and families - they have a lot to contribute to our shared learning about resident care," added Fairley.

These developments mark a good beginning in the sector's collaborative approach to improving resident care and safety in Ontario's long-term care homes.

"What sets the task force, and thus our approach to implementation, apart is that we all (Task Force members) have ownership of the final report, and an equal role to play in its implementation, working with the MOHLTC," said Candace Chartier, CEO, Ontario Long Term Care Association.

"Our goal is to implement actions that support the prevention of incidents of abuse and neglect in long-term care homes - and while it is early days we are confident that, by working together with a system-driven approach we can improve the care and safety of residents in long term care," said Lorraine Purdon, Coordinator, Ontario Family Councils' Program.

Read the January 30 Progress Report.

Read the May 2012 report of the Long-Term Care Task Force on Resident Care and Safety.

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