View council frustrated with Comox hospital

The Views Family Council will forward its yearly report, outlining care concerns at the residential facility — to various official bodies.

The Views Family Council will forward its yearly report — which outlines care concerns at the residential facility — to various official bodies.

“We’ve decided to go to the Ministry (of Health), to VIHA (Vancouver Island Health Authority), to the (BC) Ombudsperson, and we sort of gave up working with the hospital,” says council chair Ann Zanbilowicz. “We’ve also gone to Accreditation Canada.”

Zanbilowicz notes “99 per cent” of The Views staff are “caring and hard-working” but she says The Views Family Council hasn’t had enough of its ongoing concerns addressed over the years.

Some of the requests outlined in the yearly report include:

• Supply adequate staffing levels at all times;

• End the use of “inadequate” continence products, don’t tell continent people to urinate in their diapers and have staff change residents’ diapers in a timely fashion;

• Tell all families who the primary nurse (or case manager) is;

• Have an evaluation survey;

• Have staff wear name tags;

• Develop a “complete” emergency preparedness plan.

Zanbilowicz says residents are sometimes told to pee in their diapers when they are continent because they need help toileting and there aren’t enough staff members to help them.

“It’s abusive. It’s abusive to ask someone to pee in a diaper,” she says, adding another big concern is around a lack of communication between staff and families. “Families don’t know whom to talk to about any concerns. We have repeatedly asked that all families and especially new, incoming families, be told who their case manager or team leader is and yet this still is not happening.

“We have asked for years for the staff to wear their name tags,” continues Zanbilowicz. “They seem unable to get their staff to wear their name tags everyday. And they’ll say to families, ‘Well, tell us who said that to you,’ and they (families) say, ‘Well we don’t know their names.’ “

St. Joseph’s General Hospital president and CEO Jane Murphy says the hospital is proud of the care residents in The Views receive.

“Our staff are very dedicated and committed in giving our residents competent and compassionate care to make their lives as pleasant as possible,” she says. “We value feedback from residents and families and have many mechanisms for families to provide input and raise concerns.”

She notes the hospital established a family feedback group that meets monthly and family members are encouraged to bring any issues to any staff member’s attention, or provide written comments.

“We know there is always more to improve upon and the input from our families helps us to identify these opportunities,” continues Murphy, adding staff has met with the Family Council in the past, and The Views has “worked on many initiatives to improve care relating to suggestions by the Family Council.”

According to Murphy, improvements include: staff education on dementia care and person-centred care; enhancing the emergency preparedness plan using VIHA’s template; improving the resident handbook; implementing changes in staff breaks over lunch time to better support the residents; and developing communication forms.

“Our staffing levels are consistent with industry standards and we are currently making changes to provide more direct care at the bedside,” she adds.

Murphy notes hospital management has not received a copy of the Family Council’s annual report, though she says one was sent to a hospital board member who is on vacation.

Zanbilowicz says she sent a copy to a board member, along with one to Bishop Richard Gagnon, Diocese of Victoria, and Comox Valley MLA Don McRae. She also notes she posted a copy on a bulletin board at The Views but it was removed.

Accreditation Canada is expected to conduct its site visit of St. Joseph’s from Oct. 28 to Nov. 1, as has been planned for some time. Murphy says the hospital is prepared and welcomes the visit from Accreditation Canada.

writer@comoxvalleyrecord.com

 

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