A learning process: The provincial long-term care response review
Interpretations of COVID-19 policies by various long-term care providers, and a lack of training were among the concerns identified in a summer review of long-term care providers, staff and operators.
The government’s commissioned confidential review of COVID-19 response procedures in long term care was submitted on October 20th, four days before the provincial election, and released January 25th.
The “BC Ministry of Health Long-term care COVID-19 response review” looked at practice and policies in the first wave to identify needs for the coming – now current – second wave.
Ernst & Young interviewed Ministry of Health personnel, health authorities, BC Centre for Disease Control (CDC), seniors’ associations, care home operators, providers and front-line staff in one-on-one and small groups, reviewed government policies and worldwide responses in June and July of 2020.
Of the 19 recommendations on governance and decision-making, policy, operations and the workforce, many were implemented during the preparation of the report and others have been amplified in the second wave of the pandemic.
Among the emergent recommendations are suggestions that government:
- Set eligibility guidelines for support funding of public, private, and not-for-profit long term care facilities.
- Create a formal standardized reporting system on pandemic data for operators.
- Include long-term care associations in communicating policies to contracted and private care providers.
- Release key policy decisions to operator stakeholders for feedback before releasing them to the public.
- Provide inclusive, coordinated procurement of PPE through the province for Health Authority owned and contracted facilities with considerations for private operators in the planning.
- Increase FTE allocations to cover sick time and vacation while the Single-site order for staff remains in place.
- Maintain health and wellness supports for staff and look at reviewing funding levels for operators if the funding levelling for staffing remains in place.
The full report is available online.