Sunset Manor Home for Senior Citizens in Collingwood has been reopened for new admissions after the province lifted its cease admissions order that has been in place since June 10, 2021.
The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care published a letter dated Jan. 25, 2023 stating the suspension order to ban new admissions for Sunset Manor was lifted based on the results of recent inspections, and admissions can resume "effective immediately."
The letter was addressed to Home and Community Care Support Services, which is the organization that coordinates the placement of patients in the home. According to the ministry, the home has an admission plan, which has been approved by the director of the province's long-term care inspections branch. Details of the admission plan or the length of time it will take to bring residents into the empty beds have not yet been released.
The County of Simcoe released a statement on Jan. 26 stating the most recent inspections by the ministry identified areas in need of improvement.
"However, the ministry has reviewed the level of care and services provided in the home," states the county's release. "Sunset Manor is ready to welcome new residents again."
County warden, Basil Clarke, said the ministry's decision to lift the ban "validates the hard work and excellent care in the home."
"It has been a long journey, and there is still work to do; however, on behalf of county council I would like to extend a huge thank you to our amazing team at Sunset Manor and Universal Care Canada Inc. for your dedication and commitment," stated Clarke in the county news release.
The county was required to hire a management company, Universal Care Canada Inc. during the admissions ban. Based on the county's news release, the management company was also involved in developing the admissions plan.
Sunset Manor is operated by the County of Simcoe. As of last month, 52 of the home's 148 beds were empty after 19 months under the admissions ban.
When the cease admissions order 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."
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.
Since the admission ban, the province has published seven reports based on dozens of days of on-site inspections by various ministry inspectors. The latest published inspection was posted in October. The reports noted multiple areas of non-compliance and the province issued four different administrative monetary penalties under the 2021 Fixing Long-Term Care Act totalling $27,500 because of repeated non-compliance with provincial standards.
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).