‘Disturbed and disappointed’: WRHA, Winnipeg police investigating abuse allegations at personal care home

The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (WRHA) and police are investigating abuse allegations against two healthcare aides at a personal care home who remained at work nearly four months after a whistleblower came forward.

On Tuesday, Gina Trinidad, COO of Community Health Services and Long Term Care with the WRHA, confirmed the investigation into abuse allegations at the Extendicare Oakview Place personal care home in Winnipeg.

“We are deeply disturbed and disappointed by these serious allegations and the process the facility initially took to investigate the concerns,” Trinidad told media.

She said the Winnipeg Police Service is currently in the early stages of a criminal investigation into the allegations that affect 15 residents at the home. Trinidad said the WRHA would not release details of the allegations until the investigation is complete.

The Winnipeg Police Service confirmed there is an investigation underway, but could not provide any other details.

HEALTHCARE AIDES REMAINED AT WORK FOR FOUR MONTHS: WRHA

The WRHA said a whistleblower came forward to local Extendicare management in February with the allegations of mistreatment by two healthcare aides. However, the WRHA was not informed until about four months later when it was approached by another whistleblower on June 10.

Trinidad confirmed it was not until June that the two healthcare aides were placed on leave.

When WRHA learned of the allegations, Trinidad said it contacted the police and the Protection for Persons in Care office, and ensured the two healthcare aides were immediately placed on leave.

Trinidad told media the information at this time is that these allegations are isolated to the two staff members.

EXTENDICARE APOLOGIZES FOR ‘BREAKDOWN’ IN INVESTIGATIVE PROCESS

Sandra Goers, the director of operational quality for western Canada and regional director for Manitoba Extendicare, said there was a ‘breakdown’ in the internal investigation launched by Extendicare in February.

Among those breakdowns, Goers said only one family was notified of the allegations.

“I’m not going to sit here in front of you and make any excuses whatsoever,” Goers said. “We are wholeheartedly apologizing for what has happened.”

Goers said a new administrator has been put in place at the home after the person previously in the role decided to leave the organization. Goers said she also took over the role of regional director for Manitoba Extendicare.

CTV News will update this story.

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