Patient ombudsman collecting COVID-19 complaints on long-term care homes

Grant Boone
April 30, 2020

Like many long-term care homes facing COVID-19 outbreaks in the city, Hawthorne says it has ramped up its public health protocol within the facility to curb the spread of the virus.

"Then we want to support them with pandemic planning".

Ontario has had about 16,000 cases of COVID-19 and at least 1,000 deaths since the outbreak began in late January.

The number of active cases in staff at long term care homes jumped by 13 per cent or 156 workers on Tuesday, compared with a rise of 5.6 per cent or 141 in cases involving residents, the Ministry of Long-Term Care said.

Some of the complaints issued have been about staffing shortages, infection control and prevention, the inability to meet the basic care of needs and either poor or no communication.

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Premier Doug Ford formally requested military assistance last week for operational and logistical assistance, so long-term care staff can focus on the care of residents. We are proactively sharing information that comes to our office with the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Long-Term Care and Ontario Health.

The Patient Ombudsman was established in 2015 with Ontario's current minister of health, Christine Elliott, as its first executive director.

Ontario has two streams of data on coronavirus - from local public health units and from long-term care facilities - and the numbers released publicly can come from different points in time.

Anyone with a complaint can do so on the agency's website, www.patientombudsman.ca, or by calling 1-888-321-0339.

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