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Report recommends council fill McFarland Home jobs

Council will receive a report on management at H.J. McFarland Memorial Home when it meets Tuesday at Shire Hall.

Under discussion will be recruitment of an administrator and a director of care, or continued third-party management for the legislated positions.

The home was under fire again last month when the residents council and families of residents at the County-owned home shared issues and concerns about care, staff and management.

Saint Elizabeth Health Care was hired in December 2014 at a cost of $600,00 following the termination by the County of two former administrators. That contract expires June 18, 2016.

A report to council by Susan Turnbull, commissioner of corporate services and finance, recommends recruiting for the two positions, though notes council could also decide to establish a new contract with St. Elizabeth or another third-party.

The county is mandated by legislation to have a long-term care home and the act
specifies in detail the qualifications and requirements for the administrator and the
director of care.

The notice period provided for in the contract is 120 days and if given notice would terminate May 13, 2016 at the soonest. The contract end on June 18 requires no notice.
The report notes cost efficiency goals of a third-party provider “may appear to impose best practices over locally preferred approaches”. It also notes that in recent years, the County has experienced difficulty finding staff for the home at all levels. Salaries and benefits are noted to cost about $325,000.

“If properly skilled, knowledgeable and certified candidates cannot be found, the County can still go to RFP (request for proposal) prior to the end of June and test the market on a third party management arrangement,” states Turnbull in the report.

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  1. Emily says:

    Intimidation is alive and well. Many a fine employee has succumbed to this tactic. It is cleverly used, always behind closed doors with no witnesses. A call for an investigation three CAO’s ago went unaddressed.

  2. Deb says:

    Boy, how things have changed at McFarland Home. Just a few years ago we had McFarland Home residents lobbying the County to save their front lawn. The residents must have felt empowered to take the County on. Since the protest, the home fired its two County born and raised senior managers and with real gusto – at least one was give her notice at the cop shop. I guess even in the County intimidation is used as a tactic to get a resignation. Then a smear campaign ensued. Moving at the speed of light the County hired St. Elizabeth Health Care to step in. The cuts begin with the loss of frontline staff, its chapel, homemade food, special gathering events like the Resident and Family Picnic. The quality of care declined. It’s unclear where the County is making the savings since hiring St Elizabeth Healthcare is costing the County twice as much as the two previous, very well qualified and respected, managers. Merlin Dewing, the County’s Chief Administrative Officer, who oversaw the senior staff cuts has since ‘departed’ but his cost-saving decisions, backed by Council, continue to impact our most vulnerable residents. With communication between residents, their families and the home’s administration at an all time low, it’s safe to say we won’t be seeing McFarland Home residents protesting at Council meetings anytime soon. Thankfully their families advocated for them at recent council meetings. Too bad their worries about the failing grade results of the latest government inspection have been ignored by Council.

    And what became of the administrators that were given the boot 18-months ago? They now have better jobs, working less hours outside the County. So for anyone who wishes for another qualified County health administrator to step in and save McFarland Home, put yourself in their shoes. Would you want to work for this employer? If they’re smart, I doubt it.

  3. Susan says:

    Yes Gary, they do a fine job of tabling our budget so we can all easily see the debt. That is irrelevant to the mismanagement of the McFarland Home and other departments. That has resulted in the County not being on the list of professionals seeking employment.

  4. Gary Mooney says:

    I know nothing at all about McFarland. But I do know that Susan Turnbull and James Hepburn have done an excellent job of rehabilitating the County’s budget process, which was a disaster under the previous Commmissioner.

  5. Chuck says:

    Good points here. Why is our Human Resources incapable of recruitment? What are we paying that for! We need to go outside on the taxpayers dime! I can’t believe Councilors Harrison, Forrester etc penny watchers are not questioning within Shire Hall at the Commissioner level.

  6. Susan says:

    Corporate Services has been a disaster for years, from Human Resources (who by the way are paid highly to recruit)to the McFarland Home. It has failed but still carries on and draws the big salary.

  7. Argyle says:

    If this hire does not workout then Turnbull can point the finger at the hiring agency, this basically absolves her of any responsibility in this matter…… Only in the county…..

  8. lou says:

    that should say Should NOT have nursing home residents do the landscaping..sheez

  9. Fred says:

    Marnie makes a point as well. The McFarland Home has declined miserably under this Commissioners watch. Hire then fire the 2 top Managers. Hire then fire the contracted company. And now spend $40,000 taxpayers dollars to recruit. Why recruit? Because after the reputation of mismanagement from the Corporation, few professionals would entertain taking on the job unless desparate. The underlying problems are at Shire Hall.

  10. lou says:

    haha Gary , you are right!.
    i agree

    1) wow they finally advertised the Psw position
    i see.
    may have heard us squawk.

    2)… Again they are wanting to pay a recruiter 35,000 to help find Perm, full time management (admin and doc)
    probaby going to pay st Elizabeth the head hunter fee
    why are they paying 35,000?

    how about all the extra money, And fix up the front in the summer, instead of no gardens. ..well residents fixed it in August.
    shouldt have to have resients do landscaping

  11. Gary says:

    Looks after Turnbull’s next gaffe!

  12. Bayside farmer says:

    What does Hepburn do

  13. Marnie says:

    A few years ago, council just hired an administrator and things ran smoothly. Now, we have to pay a recruiter to find someone. Can’t council decided anything on its own? Is it really all that complicated?

  14. Gary says:

    Would be ironic if Council turffed the Commissioner as she has done to so many fine County employees!

  15. Emily says:

    After the firings and the contracted Agency debacle, I am sure knowledgeable and well qualified professionals will be knocking the door down for a chance to report to the author of this report recommendation!!

  16. lou says:

    They are also SHORT STAFFED. with psw’s. and need to hire.

    Residents do not get care they deserve if they dont have enough staff. This is also dangerous too. I hope they put this as a priority and get help asap. ..The current staff are overworked.

    Not sure why they are not making th is a priority

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