Long-term care commission recommends Ontario address staffing shortages in homes

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An independent commission studying the devastating effects of COVID-19 in Ontario’s long-term care homes says the province should urgently address the issue of staffing shortages.

In its letter to the Minister of Long-Term Care Merrilee Fullerton, the Long-Term Care COVID-19 Commission says the government must spend more money so the homes can hire more personal support workers and nurses.

The commission says the province should implement its own staffing plan that came out of an inquiry into a serial-killing nurse who preyed upon nursing home residents.

It also says families should have ongoing access to their loved ones in the homes, and that the province should ensure those facilities strengthen their infection prevention and control protocols.

Another recommendation says the government should immediately mandate and formalize relationships between the homes, hospitals and public health units.

The commission is investigating how the novel virus spread in the long-term care system and will submit its final report on April 30, 2021.