News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

November 13, 2020


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Review to Determine Care Levels, Identify Next Steps and Find Opportunities to Strengthen Care: Friesen

The Manitoba government has engaged an expert advisor to review the situation that developed at Maples Long Term Care Home and provide feedback and recommendations, Health, Seniors and Active Living Minister Cameron Friesen announced today.

“We are gravely concerned with the critical events that occurred at Maples Long Term Care Home last weekend and we are taking immediate action,” said Friesen. “This expert advisor will conduct a review and prepare a thorough report of what occurred, the current situation and provide recommendations on how we can move forward to support the best care possible to residents. Manitobans and their families need answers.”

After considering a number of possible candidates, the examination will be led by Dr. Lynn Stevenson, former associate deputy minister in the British Columbia Ministry of Health. Dr. Stevenson is a senior health care executive in health care operations, quality and safety, human resources and research, and is a registered nurse. Earlier this year, she was involved in a review of a COVID-19 outbreak at a facility in Halifax, Nova Scotia, which included 360 cases and the death of 53 residents.

The main responsibilities of the review led by Dr. Stevenson are:
•    determining the level of care provided by the long-term care home operator for all residents and for those that had tested positive for COVID-19;
•    determining the polices and procedures the operator had and has in place for COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, including alignment with federal and provincial guidelines, how the policies are followed by staff;
•    determining if there were any measures in place that negatively impacted patient care or safety;
•    determining if appropriate staffing levels were in place, and are now in place; and
•    identifying takeaways from this event to strengthen long-term care in Manitoba during the pandemic and afterwards, including improving communication with care homes and regional health authorities, strengthening provincial standards, developing new policies and improving long-term care home reporting.  

The preliminary findings will be submitted in mid-December, with a final report submitted to the minister in January. These timelines will ensure timely, immediate action can be taken to address the situation at Maples Long Term Care Home and to anticipate any other issues in the provincial care home system that need to be addressed, Friesen said.

“Protecting vulnerable people in long term care homes has always been a priority of our government, especially in light of this tragic situation,” said Friesen. “Our government is taking decisive action to ensure the level of care being provided is appropriate and meets the standards, even during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

COVID-19 outbreaks continue to be concern in jurisdictions across Canada. The minister addressed the issue last Saturday, giving immediate direction to ensure safety and enhance site supervision at outbreak sites. These measures, now in place or in progress include:
•    sending Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (WRHA) staff to directly oversee Maples Long Term Care Home management;
•    activating the paramedic rapid response team;
•    adding nurse practitioners;
•    increasing doctor visits and virtual visits;
•    more active monitoring of personal care home staffing at outbreak sites;
•    ensuring Red Cross will be on-site at Maples Long Term Care Home on Saturday; and
•    adding facility overseers to four long term care homes in outbreaks.

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