Mickey Dumont – The Portage Citizen: CEO Southern Health-Santé Sud Jane Curtis says if the tables were turned, she would be doing the same things Portage la Prairie families are doing to advocate for their family members in the Lions Prairie Manor.
Interviewed following the three meetings with families and residents on Sept. 4-5, the CEO was frank in explaining there was not a single problem, occurrence or issue you could point at to explain what happened at LPN and why the government nailed sanctions to its license to operate the popular home. “I’m hesitant to say (all facts leading to the manor being investigated) it’s attributed to just one thing. We would warrant more management, but I really think it is attributed to a combination of factors,” she said.
The meetings were the first time LPM management met with families and residents of the home to go over the Protection of Persons in Care Office (PPCO) report and recommendations.
Since the conclusion of the PPCO investigation and the subsequent government-ordered sanctions late last month, the government has the home under observation and management at the home has placed itself under the magnifying glass.
The meetings were to go over the PPCO report and to address it.
Director of Health Services, Portage la Prairie and Area, Margaret Warner wrote in the letter inviting residents and family members, “PPCO has concluded their investigation and forwarded their report to us. While the report indicated that there were no instances where a resident was abused or neglected; there were situations where policies and processes were not followed which resulted in some residents experiencing mistreatment. I would like to personally apologize for that. This standard of care is not acceptable under any circumstances.”
The inevitable finger pointing from both outside and inside has been damaging. Curtis acknowledges there has been an unusually high turnaround of staff as a result. Some of the staff may have felt the sting of community blame. “That’s unfortunate,” Curtis said. “We have many, many great staff that work there that are extremely dedicated and caring to the residents. This is a combination of training which perhaps has not produced the results that we wanted and communications that can be improved. Our message to them is please keep coming and keep doing the job that you’re doing. We’re really counting on them. It’s hard to hear the negativity out in the community.”
“The Manor was undermanaged, we have been under the guidelines for management, but we have posted another management position for the site and we will begin the process to meet the guidelines. We expect our managers to be on the floor, helping staff and providing support. We are enhancing that level,” Curtis said.
“Overall I felt the meetings went well. The families (just over 100 people attended) came with really good questions and we shared a lot of really good dialogue. We were able to talk about what we will be working on the address the recommendations in the report,” Curtis said. “Moving forward we want to work closely with residents and their families,” the CEO said.
LPM had been under investigation by the PPCO for six months and released its report with seven specific directions LPM would have to undertake two weeks ago.
In light of being investigated, training for staff at the manor has been increased. A consultant has been hired to work with management and staff at LPM to implement improvements as quickly as possible.
LPM is building a quality improvement plan.
• more training for all 256 staff.
• form a family advisory team made up of family, residents and staff.
• additional fact-finding and meeting again with LPM families and residents.
• adding social work and education resources.
• add a clear line of communication for families and residents.
• add a clear line of communication for staffs.
The PPCO has given the manor 100 days to come into compliance. “We’re starting right away. “We have a timeline by mid-December to respond to the PPCO with all of our actions and to provide evidence that we’ve met the recommendations’ Curtis said.
“We have lots of work to do. We’re feeling confident as long as we work with this plan, work with our residents and their families, Lions Prairie Manor will
“I walk through that building and I see a lot of great things. We have areas we have to improve upon. We can do them and make sure LPM is a great place for residents to come and live.”