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Care fine but complaints system broken at Sunnybrook Veterans Centre, audit finds

Colin Perkel, The Canadian Press

Toronto – A federal audit finds the quality of care at Canada’s largest veterans home meets standards but is deeply critical of how it handles complaints and communicates with family members. The assessment, which bitterly disappointed some relatives of the most frail residents of Sunnybrook Veterans Centre, urges the facility to take immediate steps to improve a dysfunctional complaints process. “Several residents and families expressed their lack of knowledge of how to make a complaint or mistrust of the formal complaints-management system,” the audit states. “In a few cases, there was an expressed hesitancy to bring issues forward for fear of discrimination against their loved one.”

Young men feeling more family stress

 Study debunks several myths about elder care

Kathryn May, The Ottawa Citizen

For the first time, men are more likely than women to take time off work because of the “mental and emotional fatigue” of juggling the job, raising children and caring for aging parents, according to a landmark study obtained by The Citizen. This gender shift is one of many elder-care “myths” that researchers Linda Duxbury and Christopher Higgins have debunked in a massive survey of 25,000 professionals, managers and knowledge of workers on how they are balancing work, childcare and elder care. “How are we going to remain competitive when we aren’t paying attention to the fact that we have a huge number in the most productive stage of the career cycle having to deal with kids, elder care, demanding jobs and unrelenting e-mail?” Duxbury asks. “People can choose to have children, but they can’t choose whether or not to have parents.”

Manchester care home worker held over murder

A member of staff at a Manchester care home has been arrested on suspicion of murder following the death of a resident

BBC News

Ivan Emmanuel Campbell, 73, a resident at Victoria Nursing Home in Anson Road, Rusholme, died of internal injuries. Police were called to the home by staff who found the man injured last April. The employee, 34, was also held on suspicion of assaulting a 72-year-old resident who suffered a fractured rib in an incident on 19 March. Greater Manchester Police’s Andy Tattersall said: “Due to the complex needs of those at the care home, this has and continues to be an extremely difficult and protracted investigation.”

No more covering up errors, National Health Services told

The NHS will have a legal duty to be honest about mistakes as part of an overhaul of the system in the wake of the Stafford Hospital scandal

Nick Triggle, Health correspondent, BBC News

The move is part of a package of measure in England to put patients at the heart of the NHS, ministers said. There will also be a new ratings system for hospitals and care homes, while changes to nurse training will be piloted. It comes after the public inquiry claimed patients had been “betrayed”. The harrowing neglect and abuse at the hospital between 2005 and 2008, which led to needless deaths has already been well documented. Statistics at the time showed there were between 400 and 11,200 more deaths than would be expected. The £13m inquiry, published at the start of February, focused on why the problems were not picked up sooner. It accused the NHS of putting corporate self-interest ahead of patients, concluding the failings went from the top to the bottom of the system.

Ottawa Hospital C.difficile outbreak blamed on clutter, poor cleaning

Staff cite overcrowding, lack of training

Derek Spalding, The Ottawa Citizen, March 25, 2013

The Ottawa Hospital has a host of obstacles to overcome if staff want to reduce the continuing spread of a potentially deadly disease that has reached historically high infection rates, according to a report released on Monday, March 25, 2013. Both the Civic and General campuses have struggled with high rates of Clostridium difficile in the past two years, and an inspection by Public Health Ontario in September identified a host of issues at both facilities. Problems that encouraged the disease’s spread included cluttered rooms, cluttered nursing carts, improper hand washing stations in some of the units, and a lack of training among cleaning crews. Though new infection control measures have been implemented since the visit six months ago, the General and Civic campuses are still seeing infection rates as high as they were during outbreaks last spring.