Report cites staffing, infection control concerns at northern Manitoba personal care home

A newly-released report is painting a dire picture inside a northern Manitoba personal care home.

The report is one of several released recently by the province, and shows issues surrounding nursing staff shortages, infection control practices, and a lack of building maintenance and repairs at the Nisichawayasihk Personal Care Home, a 24-bed facility in Nelson House, Manitoba.

The report showed that two full-time nursing staff worked 12-hour shifts for over 50 consecutive days. Another nurse was being trained on the floor during the inspection, and two out of five nursing positions were vacant. The findings were the result of a standards review done in October.

Read more: ‘All the families deserve better than that’: Winnipeg woman whose mom died at Maples care home

It also showed that nurses and health care staff were performing day-to-day tasks, including changing lightbulbs, maintenance, and repairing equipment. On the day of the standards review, a health care aide was filling in as the cook.

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“It’s very tragic,” Long Term & Continuing Care Association of Manitoba executive director Jan Legeros said. “Especially at this time, during a pandemic, we want to make sure that a home is properly staffed but that seems to be very, very remarkable.”

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The report also showed that the water temperature readings in resident rooms did not meet the minimum standard of 43C. A provincial spokesperson says anything less than 43C will not will germs, meaning the water temps. were too low for residents to effectively sanitize their hands.

Read more: Winnipeg health officials say there were issues with equipment, feeding at Maples PCH

It also showed the building was in need of maintenance and repair.

“The standards (reviews) are all about learning and they’re all about doing better,” Legeros said. “So certainly in their case it sounds as though they needed help a little bit sooner than when the standards review was done.”

Several other reports on personal care homes were released by the province this week. A provincial spokesperson told Global News more personal care home reports, spanning from 2018 to 2020, will be releasing in the coming weeks.

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