Proposed New Enforcement Tools Could Include Licence Suspensions, Financial Penalties
Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care on January 11, 2017
Ontario is taking action to ensure that long-term care home operators across the province with recurring care and safety concerns provide quality and safe care for residents and their families.
While the vast majority of long-term care homes are in compliance with provincial rules and regulations, Ontario intends to strengthen its quality and safety inspection program with new enforcement tools — including financial penalties — to ensure that all home operators are addressing concerns promptly. These proposed new tools would include:
- Financial penalties that would be applied to those operators who repeatedly do not comply with the requirements of the Long-Term Care Homes Act, 2007, as recommended by the Auditor General in her 2015 annual report. Any financial penalties would not negatively impact patient care
- Provisions to enable the Minister to provide direction to long-term care homes to support improvements in care, for example directing all long-term care homes to use a new skin and wound care best practice protocol
- Establishing new offences that would provide additional protections for residents, if needed, such as an offence for failing to protect residents
- Minister and Director’s authority to suspend an operator’s licence and order interim management
- Improvements to the transparency of the inspection process, including publicly posting directives to long-term care homes.
The province intends to introduce these proposed changes, which require legislative and regulatory amendments, early this year.
These enforcement tools build on the province’s enhanced Resident Quality Inspection strategy and are part of a continuous examination of improvements that can be made to ensure safety and quality care at long-term care homes, so Ontario families can continue to have confidence in the long-term care home system.
Supporting quality care at long-term care homes is part of the government’s plan to build a better Ontario through its Patients First: Action Plan for Health Care, which provides patients with faster access to the right care; better home and community care; the information they need to live healthy; and a health care system that is sustainable for generations to come.
- Ontario continues to make investments and improvements to the long-term care sector, including:
- Renovating 30,000 long-term care beds in 300 older long-term care homes by 2025
- Adding 75 nurse practitioners to long-term care home staff
- $10 million in funding to provide behavioural supports for long-term care residents living with dementia and others with cognitive impairments who exhibit challenging behaviour
- An enhanced Long-Term Care Homes Quality Inspection Program, which prioritizes homes based on risk, so that homes with complaints, critical incidents, compliance history and other risk factors are subject to extended inspections
- An upgraded long-term care home locator tool with the ability to compare one home’s compliance results against the provincial average.
Read the complete news release on Newsroom.