An annual report released by the the Office of the Seniors Advocate’s (OSA) which provides information on all publicly funded long-term care homes in British Columbia has found that Northern Health had 41 total facility inspections with 142 licencing infractions for an overall rate of 119.6 infractions per 1,000 beds in 2019. (File photo)

An annual report released by the the Office of the Seniors Advocate’s (OSA) which provides information on all publicly funded long-term care homes in British Columbia has found that Northern Health had 41 total facility inspections with 142 licencing infractions for an overall rate of 119.6 infractions per 1,000 beds in 2019. (File photo)

Northern Health leads B.C. in licencing infractions for long-term care facilities

The health region also leads the Province with a 100 per cent substantiated complaint rate

When it comes to licensing infractions, Northern Health is leading the way.

In 2019 the healthcare provider had 41 total facility inspections with 142 licensing infractions for an overall rate of 119.6 infractions per 1,000 beds.

It’s a rate 278 per cent higher than any other health region in the province, with Interior Health coming in a distant second at 43 infractions per 1,000 beds.

Provincially, it’s 311 per cent higher than B.C.’s average of 38.4 infractions.

READ MORE: Indigenous health care a major topic for Northern Health

The findings come from the Office of the Seniors Advocate quick fact directory, an annual report that provides information on all publicly funded long-term care homes in B.C.

Long-term care facilities in B.C. are regulated and licensed under the Community Care and Assisted Living Act or the Hospital Act, regardless of funding. The Health Authority Community Care Facility Licensing programs issue licences and conduct inspections to ensure facilities are providing safe care to residents.

While licensing infractions can refer to any number of things contrary to those acts, the most common infractions across the province related to care and supervision (21 per cent), records and reporting (19 per cent), the physical environment (19 per cent), and staffing (13 per cent).

The health region also led the province in substantiated complaint rates, with 100 per cent of Northern Health’s five complaints made and reviewed by its licensing offices being deemed substantiated.

This is, again, just under three times higher than the provincial average of 36 per cent.

The report also notes NH does not report complaints for facilities licensed under the Hospital Act.

In an emailed response communications officer with Northern Health Eryn Collins told The Interior News the healthcare provider is committed to continually improving the care it provides seniors.

“Northern Health’s focus is on improving supports in the community to support seniors in remaining independent as long as possible, as our seniors are clear they want to age in place/live in their homes with support. These supports are aimed at keeping seniors in their home environments as long as possible, or in other accessible living environments, potentially including long term care.”

In the email Collins added Northern Health’s smaller number of long-term care facilities, and smaller facilities due to geography and population can make the ‘complaints per thousand beds’ for the region appear disproportionately high.

She said that, interpreted another way, NH facilities average approximately 3.3 infractions per inspection — comparable to that of other health regions.

“That said, and as the OSA report indicates, many infractions can be directly linked to staffing challenges, which the North has had and continues to experience. Northern Health has developed a robust Human Resource Plan to support recruitment to current vacancies and new positions in long-term care. We are also working closely with the Ministry of Health with respect to recruitment and retention of staff in long-term care settings, such as care aides.”

“It’s also very important to note that this data reflects only complaints to licensing; there are many other channels through which concerns can be raised.”

READ MORE: Northern Health investigates racist posts of possible employee

While the healthcare provider might not have fared so well in some areas, in others it did quite well.

Northern Health only had 105 reportable incidents from 2018-2019, a rate of 8.8 reportable incidents per 100 beds.

That’s just over half the provincial average of 15.8, however it’s down from a rate of 16.2 for 2017-2018.

The health region also leads the pack in terms of meeting provincial guidelines for direct care hours, with 100 per cent of long-term care facilities in the region meeting requirements.

DCH refer to hours of direct care between patients and nursing staff, care aides, or allied health care workers, such as physical, occupational or recreational therapists, speech language pathologists, social workers and dietitians. Guidelines set by the Ministry of Health state residents in long-term facilities should receive 3.36 DCH daily.

At 3.47 DCH, Northern Health was the only region to achieve or exceed those recommendations. The provincial average was 3.25 DCH per long-term care facility.



trevor.hewitt@interior-news.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Move430 aims to encourage Langley residents to be active while raising funds to help kids play sports (KidSport image)
A virtual get-active challenge to Langley residents

MOVE430 fundraiser by Langley KidSport will help young athletes take up organized sports

Max and Charlie found their forever home through LAPS. (Special to The Star)
Langley Animal Protection Society says goodbye to longtime volunteers

Dog walkers Donna Linke and Pauline Markle have retired after more than 15 years of service

Langley Township council passed a tree protection bylaw in 2019, but one resident says the municipality does not do enough to preserve valuable trees. (Black Press Media)
LETTER: The last straw

An Aldergrove resident mourns the loss of 125-year-old Douglas fir tree

Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Dr. Bonnie Henry pauses for a moment as she gives her daily media briefing regarding COVID-19 for British Columbia in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
7 additional deaths and 542 new COVID-19 cases in B.C.

Provincial health officials reported 18 new COVID-19 cases linked to variants of concern

Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon speaks in the B.C. legislature, describing work underway to make a small business and tourism aid package less restrictive, Dec. 10, 2020. (Hansard TV)
B.C. extends deadline for tourism, small business COVID-19 grants

Business owners expect months more of lost revenues

Anti-pipeline protests continue in Greater Vancouver, with the latest happening Thursday, March 4 at a Trans Mountain construction site in Burnaby. (Facebook/Laurel Dykstra)
A dozen faith-based protestors blockade Burnaby Trans Mountain site in prayer

The group arrived early Thursday, planning to ‘block any further work’

Mid day at the Vancouver Port Intersection blockade on March 3, organized by the Braided Warriors. (Zoë Ducklow photo)
Anti-pipeline blockade at Vancouver intersection broken up by police

Demonstraters were demanding the release of a fellow anti-TMX protester

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

(Government of B.C.)
Backcountry skiers are dwarfed by the mountains as they make their way along a mountain ridge near McGillivray Pass Lodge located in the southern Chilcotin Mountains of British Columbia, Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2012. Avalanche Canada has issued a special warning to people who use the backcountry in the mountains of western Alberta and eastern British Columbia. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Avalanche Canada special warning for mountains in western Alberta, eastern B.C.

Avalanche Canada also says everyone in a backcountry party needs essential rescue gear

A recently finished $4.3-million taxiway extension at the Victoria International Airport (not pictured) is unusable because of a blind spot. (Black Press Media file photo)
Blind spot leaves Victoria airport’s new $4.3-million taxiway extension unusable

Solution has been put on hold by COVID-19 pandemic, says airport authority

The City of Vancouver estimates there are 3,500 Canada geese in the city right now, and that number is growing. (Bruce Hogarth)
Help tame Vancouver’s Canada goose population by reporting nests: park officials

The city is asking residents to be on the lookout so staff can remove nests or addle eggs

Most Read