An active investigation is happening at Extendicare-Oakview Place in Winnipeg over allegations of care aids abusing residents.
In February 2022, Extendicare was made aware of the potential improper treatment of people living in the residence. However, in a virtual media conference, Sandra Goers, Director of Operational Quality for Western Canada and Regional Director Manitoba Extendicare, said that the correct course of action for the allegations was not taken.
"In February we were made aware of allegations that residents at Oakview Place may have been mistreated by two of our employees, this may have impacted as many as 15 residents in the home. An internal investigation was launched at that time, and we have since found that this investigation did not follow Extendicare's policy."
Goers also noted that Extendicare has an abuse policy when reports are made and that there is no excuse for the correct course of action to not be taken.
"There were breakdowns in the process, including only one of the families being notified as a result of allegations that were substantiated. In addition, the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority was not notified and the police were not contacted. Our abuse and neglect policy outlines very clearly what we are required to do and what actions we are to take when allegations are made. It's completely unacceptable that this did not take place."
A public statement was made about the incident, and the investigation continues.
"The home has a new Administrator and a new Regional Director of Manitoba has been appointed. The staff involved in the allegations are not working in the home pending the results of the investigations by Winnipeg Police Services (WPS) and the Protection for Persons in Care Office (PPCO). Staff at all of our homes in Manitoba will be retrained on our Zero Tolerance of Abuse and Neglect policies. Staff will also be reminded about Extendicare's whistleblower program. The families or substitute decision-makers of the residents who are the subject of the alleged abuse have all been contacted. We have spoken with all but three of them, who we have contacted via alternate means. A meeting has been scheduled with the residents in the home, the Resident Council, the Family Advisory Council and all families."
The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (WRHA) has also taken action.
Gina Trinidad, the Regional Lead of Community and Continuing Health Services, speaks on behalf of the WRHA.
"We shared the reported allegations and concerns and are consulting with Manitoba Health Licensing and Compliance Branch. Leadership in the WRHA Long Term Care Program has also conducted several unannounced visits to the facility since learning of these allegations, we have been speaking directly with residents and observing their care experiences. We have also spoken to staff on shift at the time of our visits. The results have generally been positive and our site reviews have shown the care being delivered is what we expect of service providers."
During the Q&A portion of the virtual media conference, very few additional details were given as the investigation is ongoing.
A statement from Health Minister, Audrey Gordon, and Seniors and Long-Term Care Minister, Scott Johnston, was released on Thursday.
"Our government takes the health and well-being of older Manitobans very seriously. From the moment these terrible allegations were reported to Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, the WRHA has been intricate in ensuring that the appropriate actions were taken according to processes that were already in place to protect seniors in our province including unannounced visits and speaking with staff and residents. Our government is committed to full co-operation with all investigations related to this matter and will take action on any recommendations arising from these investigations to protect seniors in care."