Ontario Ombudsman Report on LTC
The Office of the Ontario Ombudsman has released a report on its investigation into the Ministry of Long-Term Care’s oversight of long-term care homes through inspection and enforcement during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ombudsman Dubé’s report, released today, stems from the devastating “first wave” of the COVID-19 pandemic, which claimed more than 15-thousand Ontarian lives.
The report highlighted that for a seven week period from mid-March to early May 2020, ‘’there was no independent on-site verification of the conditions” in Ontario’s more than 600 long-term care homes.
The report said that the Inspections Branch ’’did not clearly communicate its decision to stop on-site inspections to other areas of the government, long-term care homes, complainants or the public,’’ and that few knew the oversight mechanism had fallen apart.
The report said that inspections stopped ‘’because the Ministry had no plan for inspectors to safely continue their work during a pandemic,’’ nor did staff have access to personal protective equipment, and lacked training on infection prevention and control.