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County hires Saint Elizabeth Health Care to oversee McFarland Home

Prince Edward County Council has approved a contract to engage Saint Elizabeth Health Care, of Markham, to provide management oversight at the H.J. McFarland Memorial Home for the next 18 months.

Saint Elizabeth Health Care, a large provider of community care, has been providing interim senior administration since the dismissal of the home’s two senior managers earlier this fall.

At the end of November, CAO Merlin Dewing announced the administrator and director of resident care were no longer employees of the The County of Prince Edward. The changes, he said, “are a result of allegations that were recently raised respecting the general administrative oversight” of the home,” Dewing said, adding there would be no further comment.

“The decision to engage Saint Elizabeth Health Care for an 18-month term instead of recruiting new senior staff was intentionally made to allow immediate improvements in all aspects of management at the H.J. McFarland Home,” said Susan Turnbull, Commissioner of Corporate Services and Finance, in a press release. “The decision will also allow The County to draw on the depth of expertise available through Saint Elizabeth Health Care, with the end goal of improving services for the residents of the H.J. McFarland Home, their families, and The County as a whole.”

The release states that through the agreement, Saint Elizabeth Health Care is to provide interim administration,  resources, knowledge and leadership abilities of their senior level health care professionals.

“The County aims to make the most of this partnership, using the 18-month term to develop a long-term strategy to move the H.J. McFarland Home to a consistently higher level of quality care. In the four weeks that Saint Elizabeth has been providing interim care at the H.J. McFarland Home, they have identified improvements and efficiencies that can be undertaken in both the administration and delivery of service.”

“Council’s decision to engage Saint Elizabeth Health Care demonstrates decisive and prompt action in a difficult situation,” says Mayor Robert Quaiff. “This decision will ensure that quality care continues to be delivered at the H.J. McFarland Home, while identifying opportunities for improvements and strengthening the reputation of the home as a premier long term care facility.”

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  1. Wolf Braun says:

    Gary: “but I have not heard a single Councilor speak to the McFarland Home issues!”

    That might suggest that the bureaucracy has given council members assurance that all is under control with McFH. So perhaps questions need to go in that direction for answers!! .

  2. Gary says:

    Part of Councils role is to communicate with the ratepayers even if the news is not good. They felt good about levying 3.2 % tax increases on us but I have not heard a single Councilor speak to the McFarland Home issues! Are they all muffled? Transparency that was lauded in October is where now?

  3. Susan says:

    The Commissioner was in big trouble on this one as the person responsible for oversight. The best solution was to contract services, tell residents and families nothing, sell it to Council and let it quietly go away. Out of sight out of mind. No one is asking for the dirt on the fired so that shouldn’t be used as a block to information. Tell us the non compliance corrective actions. Tell us who employees now report to. Tell us who is providing oversight to the contract service. Tell us what the contract cost is. Tell us who care concerns are to be directed to.

  4. concerned says:

    sorry have to send this message too.

    its not just the abuse policy…
    they actually have been reported for the abuse.

    1. The licensee has failed to ensure that the resident abuse policy is complied with

    critical incident report M556-000011-14 to the
    Ministry of Health and Long Term Care.
    On a specified date resident reported that a Personal Support Worker had
    been rough with him\her while providing care

  5. concerned says:

    WOW…. I just went to the Minstry site and looked at the newest reports. for McFarland.

    There is a lot more then this “abuse non compliant”.

    Im just STARTING to read. and I see words in a report of Non compliant of safety etc.

    and don’t forget about many residents that can not complain. don’t have advocates either.

    and I don’t see improvement with the new management. I see its worse. Commissioner of Finance and CAO can not run a MEDICAL home.

    Just my opinion..

    poor employees trying to do their best during the last couple months of stress. They do work hard .

  6. concerned says:

    and I don’t know about abuse.
    but more residents will not report it, or can not speak for themselves.
    Ones that can speak are afraid.
    Minsitry wont see abuse…employees are on best behaviour.

    as previously discussed abuse is not always Phyiscal.
    its many ways
    an employee that treats a resident as a child is not allowed and is abusive.

    all I know is The management at the present time is a problem
    I think the moral is going down and so is care.

  7. concerned says:

    as said
    This letter of Nov. 6th etc in regards to the Management had nothing to do with the Ministry of Health.reports They were not involived.

    shire hall , municipal government launched investigation, let the 2 employees go.
    hired St Elizabeth on 18 month contract.
    without Ministry.

    and No families did not receive letters.
    They received ONE. telling families that 2 employees were on leave. back in Oct.

    nothng has been told to families since. no info

  8. John Chisling says:

    Important to note that the Ministry inspectors didn’t issue an order as they saw no danger to residents in the abuse policy as stated when they arrived.They want the abuse policy to align with their Act and that will be the policy. Had the inspector(s) seen danger to the residents they would have issued an order.
    Might as well chat with a parking meter looking for dialogue within the Ministry on changes or recommendations to set policy within the Act. The Ministry service office for PEC is in Ottawa. Their # is 613-569-5602. They will forward your call to a Kingston office that you will find impenetrable unless you route though Ottawa. In the Kingston office dwell the Inspectors who wrote the report in Oct.2013. Pick one of three or all three for your questions,suggestions or concerns. Or, the parking meter outside Books on Main.
    Paul Miller
    Barbara Robinson
    Jessica Pattison

    On November 6th., a letter to all Mc Farland Home employees,signed by the CAO,was issued. It directs employees questioning the issues stated within the letter to contact the Acting CAO,James Hepburn,Director of Finance at 613-476-2148 ext 331.
    The letter notes cc. to Acting CAO’s; Neil Carbone, James Hepburn,Robert Mc Auley,Susan Turnbull.

    Supposed to have been a letter to families according to a Councillor briefed but unable to tell how the letter was delivered;hand,e-mail,post,within invoices,word of mouth.posted on the public boards,washrooms…..

  9. concerned says:

    very true Susan

  10. Susan says:

    Thanks John. However a failed abuse policy is a failed abuse Policy! If you cannot define abuse to employees you cannot expect compliance. Most persons think of abuse as being physical. It is far broader than that, financial, psychological, refusing rights, food deprivation, lack of activation etc. If they need help to develop a definition of abuse, many of us can assist for free without contracting a service.

  11. concerned says:

    The previous government reports are a different subject then the recent dismissal of the 2 management employees.

    Those 2013 reports at the home would be Ministry of Health inspections
    the shire hall investigation.
    Ministry of Health was not involved in the recent dismissal of employees.

    They(who ever at shire hall, municipal gov) hired St. Elizabeth. and did not tell family or residents and have not filled them in with any other info
    family phonecalls have been left Unreturned.

  12. John Chisling says:

    The on site inspection is done without notice.No one at the Home in any capacity,would rely on the Wellington Times to report the findings. The report is posted at the Home and is available as all inspection reports under the Act are on a public web site at MOHLTC. A guide to understanding the reports is also available.

    There appears to be no public comment from Shire Hall on the report. Doubtful considering the comments from the CAO ; “recent allegations surrounding HJMH”etc.,that the report was used in the leave,dismissal. Sufficient grounds?
    A review of the October,2013 report as stand alone looks worrisome. However; it wasn’t compared to past reports at HJMH.Improvements between the two are noted.If theOct.2013 report is compared to other Homes in the area including Hallowell House,West Lake, Hastings Manor and others HJM is average.
    The non compliance issues raised and commented upon about no abuse policy are stretched. There is a no abuse policy at HJMH that passed other inspections. This
    inspection calls for wording in exact alignment with the Provincial Act.

  13. Chuck says:

    Municipal government have shut out the residents and families in this matter, albeit the most impacted and primary ones to be kept informed. Further, prior to the management purge both should have been advised of the non compliance findings and not wait for the Wellington Times to advise them. Concerns should be forwarded to the Ministry of Health & Long Term Care.

  14. Argyle says:

    So much for the focus on customer service at Shire Hall, just another one of Merlins smokescreens….his answer to everything is cutting services and contracting out, which makes the accoutability factor less of an issue for the Cao and managers. Come on council, time to come clean to the taxpayer, employees and patients regarding this sad situation.

  15. Wolf Braun says:

    Gary: “What is important here anymore?”

    Good question. Equally important is “Who is determining what’s important?” Is it the folks we elected or the bureaucrats? Seems that with the McFarland home it might be the latter. 🙂

  16. Gary says:

    Unless I missed it I do not see our Mcfarland Home on the radar for Council as a priority. Non compliant, removal of management and contracting out oversight. Do you think it might have hit the list! Is that not more important than buying or leasing parking lots for tourists? What is important here anymore?

  17. concerned says:

    I can speak for One family . They found out thru the NEWs that St. Elizabeth has the 18 month contract.
    There is a copy of the news release high up near office. that’s it.

    So nothing. and no answers etc. no communication.

    Phone messages left, and no return phone calls from shire hall either. or St elizabeth

    Family did get a letter at the very beginning from shire hall that the 2 management employees were on leave.

    nothing since.

  18. Susan says:

    I know someone close at McFarland Home. Their responsible health care consent provider has not been notified of anything at all through this whole affair.

  19. Wolf Braun says:

    Great questions Susan. Do you have someone, or know of someone, staying at McFH who has received a communication from Shire Hall that begins to address such questions?

  20. Susan says:

    Under this new 18 month model of contracted senior administration to the McFarland Home do unionized County workers now report to Saint Elizabeth Health Care? Who at the County level has the experience and qualifications to ensure that this service is meeting resident needs and compliance standards? Where is the County’s oversight? To whom do residents and families bring concerns regarding care? Who hires care workers now? What does this service model cost? Many questions, few answers.

  21. Jack Smith says:

    The County is going to do what ever they want. By now people who have lived here for a long period of time have no say on anything. They would rather listen to outsiders. It’s just another way of driving the locals out by increased taxes etc.that are on fixed incomes especially the elderly, even the working are having a hard time to make ends meet. For having Saint Elizabeth coming in couldn’t they hire local people that are in need of a job. That would be to easy. We all need to get together and start having our say on what is being done to this County for we are the ones that voted these Council Members in including the Mayor. And if they can’t listen to the Local people that have lived here for years then leave office and get someone in there that cares. I’m tired of this shit and how the rules are made in order to live here. I should of ran for Council,,,,,,

  22. Wolf Braun says:

    Good post Chuck.

    The starting point should begin at the top.

  23. Chuck says:

    I do believe the residents, families and public deserve answers. If they need to seek an inquiry to get those answers so be it! The County beauraucracy is hiding behind personnel matters as a reason not to disclose. No one is asking for the dirt on the fired managers or even how much it cost to remove them. They all are quite entitled to know what the new service delivery costs in comparison to County employees. Also to have a full disclosure of the compliance review that failed and the corrective measures that are being put in place to ensure compliance. I don’t think this is going away anytime soon.

  24. Gary says:

    Decisions have been made and a third party contract service is running our Home. We do not know the cost of the debris field from these events inclusive of dismissal costs. All we know is something went terribly wrong. At the very least residents and family members should be advised of changes and how these will affect service. They should also have been privy to the Ministry compliance review and the findings. Remember the word “transparency” being flogged at election time? Where is the transparency?

  25. Marnie says:

    I’ll be excited to see the results of your letter-writing campaign Wolfe but I fear that it’s dead-end logic.Personally I prefer circular.

  26. Wolf Braun says:

    Marnie… your circular logic doesn’t work.

  27. concerned says:

    job fair says they have opportunities in Belleville, Trenton and surrounding areas..

    BUT….I just saw a Job Post on the Saint Elizabeth site for a PSW for PICTON. date Dec. 12/14.
    and a button to apply.


    A local girl/boy could apply I guess.

  28. concerned says:

    hmmm what a coincidence you say that…..

    I just read about a Job fair in Belleville January 6th….St Elizabeth is looking for PSW’s….I saw this ad on KIJI.
    says St Elizabeth job fair (out of a hotel). …………

    St. Elizabeth is not in Belleville, Their offices are Markham, Toronto.

    The Temp employees are from all over Ontario that came into McFarland, Not Belleville area

    hmmm. ……

  29. PEC taxpayer says:

    Saint Elizabeth also has there own Personal Support Worker’s maybe the County has a plan
    First they dismiss the Administrator and Director of Care,
    then they start contracting out the front line staff.

  30. Susan says:

    I am afraid they have opted to pay more dollars for a contract service. What is the cost? What are the contracted responsibilities? Who do they report to? Do they manage County employees? Do they put the proper policies in place that were non compliant? The ratepayer doesn’t know and the residents of this home that pay high premium for shelter, food and care have not been informed. Neither have family members who are their power of care representatives. I hope the Wellington Times stays on top of this as they appear our only source of information.

  31. Marnie says:

    If our elected representatives cannot grasp the importance of safeguarding the rights of our senior citizens I sincerely do not believe that letters to them will capture their attention. Actions speak louder than words. Families who perceive any form of abuse to their loved ones should speak out forcefully to the governing authorities and to the press if necessary. A recent story in the Wellington Times did more to focus attention on the problems at the county home than a raft of letters could ever do. Do you really believe that those letters actually would be read, Wolfe? Of course you are welcome to write to “Santa” but don’t be disappointed if all you receive is a reply from someone who works in the post office. Shire Hall is not likely to respond to you.

  32. Wolf Braun says:

    Marnie: “You might as well write a letter to Santa Claus Wolfe.”

    Not disagreeing with your views about how our seniors should be treated at MCFH. We all have a responsibility to protect seniors, as well as all those who need protection, including babies and small children.

    We give that responsibility of protection and care in this case to our elected officials and bureaucrats to carry out on our behalf. If see see deficiencies we need to demand better. If that means writing to “Santa” so be it.

    Do you have a better suggestion Marnie ?

  33. concerned says:

    The comments were never directed at the employees or staff. psw, nurses , kitchen, housekeeping Do work very hard. and are very nice.
    as stated in my comments.

    Any comments are directed at management , government, shire hall. admin.

    Things change. and as everyone sees. The management has changed. and families, resdients, community are concerned about how they are handling things or not handling things appropriately .
    Most are just caring people here, worried about vulnerable and family members.

    Hard on staff thru this change.

    so , just wanted to clear that. ITs the Management not the nurses. etc

  34. Susan Rose says:

    Back at you Dayton ..remembering the ole football team of PECI and Mr. Sutton! Great memories and happy times!

  35. Dayton Johnson says:

    Happy New Year Susi….tonight I’ll be remembering the “good ol days”

  36. Susan Rose says:

    respect was earned and not just given! Hopefully I don’t get attacked for expressing my experiences! Happy New Year to All ❄️

  37. Susan Rose says:

    I am very curious to know if any of these writers personally had experiences with loved ones I residing at McFarland Home, or quoting these they have read or heard? I do believe my brothers and myself did our best for our Mother for eight years she called the Home her home!! The staff treated her with respect and care she needed and I proudly thanked them! Thanks Susan Rose/Ruth Calvers’ daughter

  38. Marnie says:

    You might as well write a letter to Santa Claus Wolfe. For years our county home ran efficiently with common-sense administrators such as Veronica Duncan and the late George Ross. Now we need experts to tell us how to run the place and it will take 18 months to determine how to do it. Wasn’t it a Shakespearean character who said “First, kill all the lawyers”? Figuratively speaking the word lawyers might be swapped out for experts. They are certainly experts when it comes to charging for their services – services that could be just as well provided by locals.

  39. Wolf Braun says:

    Susan: “Do you really think Council will address this Wolf?”

    Probably not Susan since not enough of the Council participate here. I think if we all wrote a letter to the Mayor and to the Picton reps they might live up to their promise of more transparency. My hunch is that this is being directed by the CAO. His belief appears to be “I answer to no one”.

  40. Susan says:

    So here we are. Several non compliance issues identified by the Ministry with “abuse policies” being a most serious one. The Administrator and Director of Care are canned and what happens next? The Commissioner who has oversight under her responsibilities sells Council a new direction. They chew it up, swallow it and approve out sourcing management of the Home. Good sales job and off the Commissioners plate. For 18 months they say while we look at best practices! We have managed McFarland for decades but now we don’t know how. What is the cost of the contracted service? Is it cheaper than having an Administrator and Director of Care under the employ of the County? Ratepayers, residents and families are entitled to know. Do you really think Council will address this Wolf? They have already approved the out source. And life at Shire Hall is good again.

  41. Wolf Braun says:

    The buck stops at the top ! Let’s hope that mayor and Council have the will to step in.

  42. Gary says:

    Clear abuse policies that are read,understood and signed off by all staff working in a long term care facility has been a requirement for quite some time. How we could be found non compliant deserves answers. This is not a personnel issue being asked, it is why we were non compliant on one of the most important safe guards for the residents, some that cannot even communicate an act of abuse. Answers are required.

  43. concerned says:

    Not surprised actually.

    maybe thinking the “temp” people will look after things.
    Turning their heads the other way again.

    2) This recent “Outbreak” that’s spreading, might want to update their Infection control policies as well.
    Employees are working hard, and trying to do their best. with some out sick as well.
    Poor residents and employees at this time.

  44. Susan says:

    So the recent Ministry inspection of the McFarland Home found that their policies did not define abuse. It’s 2014 and no policy to advise staff of what abuse is. Unbelievable! And the Commissioner who has oversight and a responsibility to ensure compliance just rolls along as usual.

  45. Gary says:

    No you are saying what needs to be said. If the County in this day and age has not directly informed residents of what has happened and what is planned moving forward it is shameful and indicative that they do not respect their rights. Further indicative that they do not have a philosophy that makes one comfortable of them managing this residence.

  46. what? says:

    and dont forget these residents do pay a lot of money per month (for a tiny room, usually shared, and not a very good one at that).

    They pay for their little homes. and they deserve a nice home.

    sad really

    (ok now ive said enough)

  47. what? says:

    1) no, residents and family were not notified Before the press release. THEY may have sent Letters AFTER the announcement.

    2) St Elizabeth is a Temporary Health care agency . I think they do other things as well. (like manpower for healthcare)

    The employees that come are from all over Ontario.

    I cant say if they are helping or not from an admin point of view
    BUT I as a family view.

    Unfortunately when you get different employees. Some will be good for family and residents and others wont.

    I have heard of a couple nice girls, and one not.
    its unfortunate

    as said , In my opinion, Its ridiculous 1 and half years. .
    Im sure they could hire someone and stop keeping the home in
    Residents worry

    No other information has come to families
    No residents have ever been told. Families tell them
    They should open their eyes and realize that lots of residents are bright.

    Hopefully they will have some sense and at least keep the rotation to a miniumum.

    add in a commissioner that doesn’t know about the resident side of things.

    think ive said enough 🙂

  48. Gary says:

    Were the residents advised prior to the press release of what was happening at their home?

  49. Wolf Braun says:

    Good rant !

    What do you know about the folks from Markham?

  50. what? says:

    are you kidding me?

    1)the worst decision. ever.

    they rotate different employees from /St Elizabeth
    Each week is a different person.

    How is this going to help the residents and families.?
    when you get different emoployees?
    famiies have to speak to a different person and then they leave.
    2) who pays for this service? Each employee is out of town
    3) doesn’t take 18 months to figure out what improvements.
    They know what needs to be improved.

    And the commissioner of finance is going to be the admin with these Temp employees

    Run quick away.

    THEY KNOW what needs to be improved.
    Hire someone and get on with it

    This is ridiculous…18 months

    Rant over,

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