Lacombe Hospital and Care Centre

Lacombe Hospital and Care Centre

Critics call for quick action after serious concerns raised at Lacombe hospital

MLA Ron Orr speaks out after three staff were put on leave for breaches

  • May. 11, 2017 8:00 a.m.

BY ERIN FAWCETT

Lacombe Express

Wildrose Lacombe Ponoka MLA Ron Orr is calling on the NDP government to take action after three staff on the long-term care unit at the Lacombe Hospital and Care Centre were put on leave following an investigation that saw serious breaches in terms of care.

“These are serious issues and as the person who delivered it to us felt, they were shocked and thought the public needed to know,” said Orr.

“Our objective is not to make things worse at the hospital or to try and blame anybody. We want to try and see this whole thing fixed and we want to see the hospital to be a safe place for residents and a happy place for family members to have their residents and quite frankly a safe and happy place for staff to work. I don’t think this is caused by staff directly. This is caused by the long-term and systemic issues of Alberta Health Services and particularly the funding that has been so well detailed for all of Central Alberta where we receive substantially less funding then other places.

“As a result, staff are short, equipment is short, maintenance issues are not dealt with, supplies are not provided and the staff are doing the best they can with a very, very difficult situation.

“It needs to come to light so Alberta Health Services can’t just whitewash it and make it all go away.”

He added the Auditor General report for both 2014 and again in 2016 reads, “Seniors in long-term care facilities: We recommend that the Department of Health clearly define, and separate the role and responsibilities from those of AHS in monitoring and managing long-term care service delivery.”

It also reads, “Improve public reporting on what results the provincial long-term care system is expected to achieve and whether it is achieving them.”

Orr added this has been a long-standing issue.

“Even the Auditor General has flagged it. It’s something that needs to happen,” he said. “If these things had been done, we may not be in the situation we are at the long-term care facility (in Lacombe).”

Leaked documents earlier this week show a system in flux at the Lacombe Hospital and Care Centre (LHCC) and brought to light serious concerns about the level of care provided at the facility.

The documents outline an investigation that was launched in April as a result of, “Serious concerns raised about care quality at the site” brought forward by Red Deer College practical nurse students who were completing their practicums at the facility in March.

Serious breaches that were found as a result of the investigation include expired aseptic sterile supplies like catheters; soiled linen and garbage overflowing into hallways; slings being used communally without a clear, consistent cleaning process; medication left unsecured, unlabeled, unattended; lack of proper training in medication management and assistance (for those managing medication); lack of proper training in dementia care (for those assisting clients with dementia) and lack of proper training in risk management, fall prevention, CPR, palliative/end-of-life care, safe lifts, restraints and bathing.

As the documents outline, a formal report is pending.

“There are serious failings at the LHCC that must be addressed in order for faith to be restored in our health care system,” said Orr. “Patients and their loved ones have seen inadequate levels of care that are simply unacceptable, and that must change. Wildrose will hold the NDP government to account to ensure that significant problems found in the initial investigation are fixed.”

Wildrose spoke to concerned residents in Lacombe about the findings of the initial investigation.

Lois Cookson’s 89-year-old stepfather was a patient at LHCC and she said that, “He was dying before our eyes in the Lacombe Hospital” with problems that included incorrect testing, filing of testing under the wrong patient’s name and providing the wrong antibiotic.

In a statement to the media, AHS said they have taken significant action to ensure safe, effective care continues to be provided to long term care residents at the Lacombe Hospital and Care Centre.

This follows a review at the long-term care centre by AHS, as well as an audit of continuing care health service and accommodation standards by both AHS and Alberta Health.

The review and audit also found areas where staff training was deficient including in the areas of wound care and management, infection prevention and control, restraint use and management, safe lifts and transfers, dementia care and palliative and end of life care.

AHS has developed an implementation plan to address all the recommendations, officials said.

“Our first concern is for the residents living in the Lacombe long-term care facility,” said Brenda Huband, vice-president and chief health operations officer for Central and Southern Alberta. “We take these concerns very seriously and we responded quickly with our investigation and audits with support from Alberta Health.”

She added actions taken at the site include thorough health assessments of all 75 residents; physiotherapy and falls risk assessments on all residents; a thorough cleaning of the site including resident care areas, medication rooms, medication carts and tub rooms, with support and guidance from infection prevention and control professionals; improved communication between caregivers and residents/families and between caregivers; the introduction of two-day education sessions for all long-term care staff to ensure they understand, principles of resident and family-centered care, health service and accommodation standards for continuing care and working with stakeholders to introduce a resident and family council that can meet regularly to ensure high quality care is maintained.

The AHS review of the site concluded last week and highlights the need to shift from a more traditional long-term care approach to a more resident and family-focused care model, officials have said.

AHS has met with residents, families, local stakeholders and community leaders to advise them of the investigation and to provide information on steps that had already been taken. Each resident’s primary care physician has also been involved.

 

Just Posted

Alberta is now below 3,000 active cases of COVID-19, as the province reported 2,639 Wednesday. (NIAID-RML via AP)
Red Deer below 100 active COVID-19 cases for first time since March

69.7 per cent of Albertans 12 and over have at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine

Premier Jason Kenney says the provincial government is doing everything it can to encourage Albertans to get vaccinated. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Travel prizes added to Alberta’s vaccine lottery

More than 40 travel rewards available for those who are fully vaccinated

Three calves were recently shot dead in Lacombe County near Mirror. (Photo from Facebook)
Calves shot and left for dead in central Alberta

Bashaw RCMP investigating three shootings

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

A vial containing the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is shown at a vaccination site in Marcq en Baroeul, outside Lille, northern France, Saturday, March 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Michel Spingler
mRNA vaccines ‘preferred’ for all Canadians, including as 2nd dose after AstraZeneca: NACI

New recommendations prioritizes Pfizer, Moderna in almost all cases

House Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-S.C., center left, reaches over to Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., joined by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., center, and members of the Congressional Black Caucus as they celebrate the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act that creates a new federal holiday to commemorate June 19, 1865, when Union soldiers brought the news of freedom to enslaved Black people after the Civil War, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, June 17, 2021. It’s the first new federal holiday since Martin Luther King Jr. Day was created in 1983. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Biden to sign bill making Juneteenth a federal holiday

New American stat marks the nation’s end of slavery

A screenshot of the First Peoples Cultural Councils First Peoples’ Map. (First Peoples Cultural Council)
Online resource blends B.C.-Alberta’s Indigenous languages, art and culture

Advisor says initiative supports the urgent need to preserve Indigenous languages

A plane is silhouetted as it takes off from Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C., May 13, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Report calls for airlines to refund passengers for flights halted due to COVID-19

Conclusion: federal help should be on the condition airlines immediately refund Canadian travellers

Green party Leader Annamie Paul speaks during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, June 15, 2021. Paul has survived another day of party strife after a planned ouster shifted course, leaving her with a tenuous grip on power ahead of a likely federal election this year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Green Leader Annamie Paul blasts ‘racist,’ ‘sexist’ party execs who sought ouster

Fallout has continued, with two of the federal council’s members resigning

Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and U.S President Joe Biden shake hands during their meeting at the ‘Villa la Grange’ in Geneva, Switzerland in Geneva, Switzerland, Wednesday, June 16, 2021. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, Pool)
Biden says meeting with Putin not a ‘kumbaya moment’

But U.S. president asserted Russian leader is interested in improved relations, averting a Cold War

Most Read