Doug Ford calls the Canadian Military report “gut-wrenching”

A military report on five long-term care homes in Ontario details troubling allegations in the homes, such as rooming COVID-19 positive patients with uninfected ones, insect infestations and aggressive resident feeding that led to choking.

Premier Doug Ford said reading the reports from the Canadian Armed Services on conditions in long-term care facilities was the hardest thing he has done as premier, calling it “horrific” and “heartbreaking.”

Ford says long-term care has suffered from decades of neglect and COVID-19 has exposed deep cracks a system he has vowed to reform.

Ford called in military assistance last month for five long-term care homes dealing with COVID-19 outbreaks. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who has seen the report, calls it “deeply disturbing.”

Ford thanked the members of the Canadian Armed Services for bringing these issues to light, and has asked to extent their mission for another 30 days.

He said he ordered the report to be released in its entirety so the public can know how bad things are and why they need to change.

Some of the allegations detailed by Canadian Armed Forces members in the report include:

  • residents tested positive with Covid-19 are not isolated and were allowed to wander
  • personal protective equipment (PPE) not changed between residents, worn for several hours, or worn outside rooms and at the nurse’s station 
  • using PPE inappropriately
  • key supplies are locked away preventing staff who need them from getting access
  • improper medication and inadequate dosing intervals given to residents
  • expired medication
  • medication being reported as given when it wasn’t  
  • topical prescription medicine shared between residents 
  • no psychological support for residents while they are away from their families and residents are sedated with narcotics when they are sad or depressed  
  • regular vitals signs or patient turning not followed to avoid waking up the resident 
  • regular wellness checks are not being done on time  
  • poor Foley catheter care and peri-catheterization care 
  • aggressive behavior to residents: during transfers and feeding resulting in choking 
  • very little or no disinfection had been conducted, significant fecal contamination in many resident rooms 
  • insect infestations in the facilities such as ants, flies and cockroaches 
  • changing soiled residents are delayed causing skin breakdown, patients being left in soiled beds instead of being taken to bathrooms
  • residents crying for help for prolonged periods of time (30 minutes to over 2 hours) with no assistance 
  • residents are not bathed for several weeks 
  • linen shortage led to residents sleeping on beds without linen
  • staff are often rushed and leave food on the table where patients can not reach or feed themselves 
  • liquid oxygen generators can’t be used because it wasn’t filled 
  • incident reporting policies are not easily accessible 
  • poor or no handover between shifts resulting in miscommunication
  • delayed or missed meals resulting in residents not receiving three meals a day 
  • hungry residents overnight are told to wait until the morning or are given either a cookie or coffee
  • leaving food in a resident’s mouth while they’re sleeping  
  • not assisting residents during meals, instead staff write that the resident refused to eat 
  • severely understaffed and new staff haven’t been trained
  • staff disappear and leave the floor unattended