The number of empty beds at the county-owned and operated long-term care home in Collingwood is dwindling now that new admissions are permitted again.
Since February, 35 new residents have moved into Sunset Manor, leaving fewer than 20 empty beds still to fill.
The County of Simcoe’s general manager of health and emergency services, Jane Sinclair, said admissions will continue over the coming weeks until all of the home’s 148 beds are occupied again.
The home was under a cease admissions order from the Ministry of Long-Term Care for about 20 months (June 2021 to January 2023) for ongoing and repeated findings of non-compliance with provincial standards for long-term care. By the end of the admissions ban, there were more than 50 empty beds at the home.
Sinclair said Home and Community Care, the agency responsible for long-term care bed waiting lists in Simcoe County, indicates there are 277 residents waiting for a bed a Sunset Manor.
“At a recent debriefing, we received positive feedback from the ministry regarding an April inspection, and just received details of this most recent review confirming that all compliance orders have been lifted and no new orders were issued,” said Sinclair in a statement emailed by the county’s communications staff. “We continue to work extremely hard to address all areas of feedback from the ministry.”
The latest inspection report, published by the Ministry of Long-Term Care, does confirm the outstanding compliance orders have been met and does not include any new orders.
However, the inspection did come with seven written notifications related to complaints and/or issues noticed in the home by inspectors. A written notification is issued for any finding of non-compliance, even if inspectors do not issue a compliance order.
The latest report, which is based on inspections done throughout April, includes written notices for the following:
- Duty to protect: The ministry investigated a complaint of inappropriate touching from one resident to another. The ministry indicated there was a failure to monitor the resident’s behaviour and intervene to protect the other residents.
- Notification of incidents: The ministry inspector noted the home did not make sure a resident’s substitute decision-maker was notified immediately after the completion of an investigation into allegations of abuse (from the situation listed above).
- Plan of care: A resident’s attending physician was not notified of the deterioration of the resident’s condition, and the resident’s end-of-life care measures were not implemented at the appropriate time.
- Plan of care: Three situations were included in this written notice indicating the home failed to make sure three residents’ care plans were followed. In the first instance, a resident didn’t get their medication after their meal, as indicated in their plan of care. Over the last seven months, the resident received their medication before their meal 34 times. The second case referred to the unexpected death of a resident who was found deceased in their bed at the start of a shift. Records from the home indicated the hourly check wasn’t done properly the night before. And thirdly, the ministry inspected a complaint of a resident found in a different resident’s bed. The first resident was supposed to have an alarm on their bed, which wasn’t working at the time.
- Continence care and bowel management: The ministry inspector noticed a resident was left for 2.5 hours without being checked for their continence care needs, which were clearly listed on the resident’s plan of care.
- Responsive behaviours: A resident at risk of falling and known to have responsive (can be violent) behaviours was subjected to a strategy “inappropriate for the resident’s care.”
- Training and notification: An agency PSW working at the home told inspectors they had been working there for about ten months, but had not received training on fall prevention and management.
There are no outstanding compliance orders listed in the April report, however, the county did have to pay $500 as a “re-inspection” fee since the April inspections were “at minimum” the second follow-up inspection to determine compliance with previous orders.
The cease admissions order for Sunset Manor was issued on June 10, 2021; the director of the province's long-term care inspections branch said it was because of "significant areas of non-compliance" with provincial standards for care and "systemic failure."
A provincial order required the county to hire Universal Care Canada to help manage the home, and the company continues to be involved in the admissions plan.
The county argued the ban on admissions was too severe and filed an appeal with the divisional court, asking for the order to be overturned. The appeal was dismissed and the order remained until the ministry lifted it on Jan. 25, 2023.
The County of Simcoe operates four long-term care homes in Simcoe County, including Sunset Manor, Simcoe Manor (Beeton), Georgian Manor (Penetanguishene), and Trillium Manor (Orillia).