The Nova Scotia government has followed through on its promise to post reports about nursing home licensing inspections.
But readers shouldn’t expect a detailed analysis of the problems turned up during the inspections conducted by the Health Department.
For example, the report on Mary’s Bide-A-While Home Ltd. in Shelburne posted June 5 consists of this paragraph: “Requirements resulting from licensing inspection: 1. LTCPR 6.8.5 The licensee shall ensure residents’ personal directives, if completed, are reviewed annually with the residents and/or authorized designates or more frequently if required to ensure their care preferences and wishes are clearly understood.”
A report on the Taigh Na Mara nursing home in Glace Bay is more lengthy, noting nine areas of concern including equipment inspection, pharmacy committee meetings, oral health care and emergency planning.
Health Minister Randy Delorey announced last March that the reports would be made public.
The change was part of the Health Department’s response to the public outcry over the deaths of residents related to abuse and/or neglect, such as inadequate care for bedsores.
Links to PDFs of the nursing home reports can be found near the bottom of the Health Department’s continuing care page.
According to information on that website, when deficiencies are identified at a particular nursing home, requirements are issued to the facility in the form of a licensing inspection report.
“Facilities are required to provide confirmation of compliance to DHW when deficiencies are addressed,” the statement says. “Licensing inspections are unannounced and occur at least twice annually for nursing homes and once annually for residential care facilities.”
Facilities must comply with about 400 requirements, which are outlined in the Homes for Special Care Act and other long-term-care regulations.
“Requirements are broad in type and scope, and it is not unusual for a facility to not meet several requirements upon inspection. Facilities that are non-compliant with licensing requirements in some areas may receive more frequent inspections.”
The province also now posts quarterly reports on the status of investigations into complaints about specific nursing homes. Links to the reports can be found on the department’s Protection of Persons in Care website.