The Manitoba government has created a team to implement the recommendations of the review of the COVID-19 outbreak at Maples Long Term Care Home and has released a draft plan outlining how the critical work of implementing these changes will occur in the months ahead to strengthen the long-term care sector in Manitoba.
“Once we accepted the report’s findings and committed to implementing the recommendations, we moved quickly to put a team in place to develop a response plan within 30 days to outline how the recommendations will be implemented,” said Health and Seniors Care Minister Heather Stefanson. “While some work had already begun at the Maples site and within the Winnipeg health region, this plan sets out how we will ensure the recommendations are implemented at all personal care home sites in Manitoba, and ensure they are consistent with the province’s clinical and preventive services plan.”
The implementation team is made up of a diverse group of representatives from service delivery organizations (SDOs), personal care home (PCH) operators, provincial organizations and department staff. Kathy McPhail, a former chief executive officer of Southern Health-Santé Sud, has been contracted to chair the implementation team until June. Leads have been assigned and teams developed to focus on specific areas of work for each recommendation.
“Because issues at one site in one region can easily occur in other locations in the province, the plan calls for issues and solutions to be addressed at a system level, looking at ways to ensure consistency and maintain change across all sites, and support broader integration across the system,” said McPhail. “We are now in the process of examining these complex issues and the inter-dependencies of the work, and anticipate implementation to begin in the coming weeks.”
The implementation teams are being asked to report back on their progress after the next 60 days, and regular updates will be provided. The recommendations have already been reviewed and timelines developed, taking the demands of the current pandemic into consideration.
The timelines are:
- short term: work will be completed between zero to three months including establishing a standard pandemic plan to ensure resources and support can be deployed expeditiously to PCH sites;
- medium term: work will be completed between three and nine months including reviewing and updating licensing standards for personal care homes and increasing the number of unannounced inspections; and
- long term: work will take longer than nine months including development and implementation of a robust PCH workforce plan.
The minister noted the health department has recently been reorganized to ensure a focus on seniors’ care across the spectrum including housing and long-term care.
“Any plans for the future must address the continuum of care for seniors – from care at home to supportive housing to supports for personal care homes,” said Stefanson. “The work of implementing the recommendations will also inform how we proceed with developing a range of supports for seniors, when and where they are needed.”
To review the implementation plan, visit gov.mb.ca.