Patient Ombudsman investigates 150 long-term care complaints

Patient Ombudsman has announced they are launching a systemic investigation into the resident and caregiver experience at Ontario’s long-term care homes with COVID-19 outbreaks.

Officials say on April 26, Patient Ombudsman launched a public appeal for COVID-19 complaints in long-term care asking staff, family members, caregivers and residents to disclose situations where they felt the safety of residents and staff may be in significant jeopardy.

They have received 150 complaints about long-term care homes since March. They say that number continues to grow.

This announcement by the Patient Ombudsman comes a day after the Ontario Ombudsman launched a separate investigation of the oversight of the long-term care system by the province’s Ministry of Long-Term Care and Ministry of Health.

“Our investigation is specific to the residents and caregiver experience at long-term care homes with outbreaks of COVID-19,” says Craig Thompson, Executive Director of Patient Ombudsman.

“Our office would like to thank every resident, caregiver and staff person of a long-term care home for having the courage to come forward with their complaints.”

The investigation will focus on issues affecting the experience of residents and caregivers including staffing levels, visitation restrictions, infection prevention and control procedures and communication.