Access to Information: allegations of staff-to-resident abuse in Canadian nursing homes

W5 Staff

Over the course of one year, W5 uncovered at least 1,500 cases of staff-to-resident abuse and neglect in nursing homes across Canada in 2013.

W5 obtained the data by filing access-to-information requests with 42 provincial, territorial and regional health authorities seeking statistical information and incident reports of staff-to-resident abuse for the 2013 calendar year.

Thirty-six authorities responded to the request. Those findings are available below, sorted alphabetically by province and territory.



ALBERTA

Alberta Health responded to W5’s request for access to information under that province’s Freedom of Information and Protection Act for statistics and details on incidents of staff-to-resident abuse that were alleged to have occurred in 2013.

Alberta Health provided 739 pages of redacted documents from 113 incidents that occurred in 49 facilities during that time period. They are all accessible though the on-line spreadsheet below.

The table consist of an alphabetical list of homes, the date the incident was reported, and the type of abuse that was alleged to have occurred. To see the records for each incident, click on the date of the report.

Each record consists of two documents: the initial investigator’s Report into the incident followed by the Decision of the Acting Director of the Protection of Persons in Care which reviews the findings and recommendations made in the initial report.

The information below is being provided exactly as it was provided to W5.

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BRITISH COLUMBIA

There are five regional health authorities in British Columbia, all responded to W5's request for access to information under that provinces Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, for statistics and details on incidents of staff-to-resident abuse that were alleged to have occurred in 2013.

Northern Heath reported that it could not locate any statistics, while Interior Health required a fee to process the request.

Click on the names of the 3 RHAs to view their responses to the request.

  1. Fraser
  2. Vancouver Coastal
  3. Vancouver Island

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MANITOBA

There are five regional health authorities in Manitoba, all responded to W5's request for access to information under that province's Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, for statistics and details on incidents of staff-to-resident abuse that were alleged to have occurred in 2013.

Northern RHA reported zero incidents, while Prairie Mountain Health RHA required a fee to process the request.

Click on the names of the 3 RHAs to view their responses to the request.

  1. Southern Health-Santé Sud
  2. Interlake-Eastern
  3. Winnipeg-Churchill

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NEW BRUNSWICK

The Minister of Social Development of New Brunswick responded to W5's request for access to information under that province's Right to Information and Protection of Privacy Act for statistics and details on incidents of staff-to-resident abuse that were alleged to have occurred in 2013.

To see the records for each incident, click on the date of the report.

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NEWFOUNDLAND

There are four health authorities in Newfoundland; all four responded, but only Eastern Health had responsive records to W5's request for access to information under the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, for statistics and details on incidents of staff-to-resident abuse that were alleged to have occurred in 2013.

The others reported zero incidents.

Click here to here view the record from Eastern Health.

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NORTHWEST TERRITORIES

There are eight health authorities in the Northwest Territories; seven responded, but only Tlicho Community Services Agency had responsive records to W5's request for access to information under the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, for statistics and details on incidents of staff-to-resident abuse that were alleged to have occurred in 2013.

Dehcho, Fort Smith, Hay River, Sahtu, Stanton and Yellowknife health authorities reported zero incidents. Beaufort-Delta did not respond.

Click here view the record from Tlicho Community Services Agency.

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NOVA SCOTIA

The Nova Scotia Department of Health & Wellness responded to W5’s request for access to information under that province’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act for statistics and details on incidents of staff-to-resident abuse that were alleged to have occurred in 2013.

To see the records for each incident, click on the date of the report.

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NUNAVUT

The Department of Health of the Government of Nunavut responded to W5's request for access to information under the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act for statistics and details on incidents of staff-to-resident abuse that were alleged to have occurred in 2013. There was one responsive record; click here to view.

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ONTARIO

Ontario's Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care responded to W5’s request for access to information under that province's Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act for statistics and details on incidents of staff-to-resident abuse that were alleged to have occurred in 2013.

While incident reports were not provided, they are available for every long-term care facility at the Reports on Long-Term Care Homes website.

The ministry's response included the following table for all critical incidents:

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PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND

In Prince Edward Island, Health PEI and the Ministry of Health and Wellness responded to W5's request for access to information under that province’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, for statistics and details on incidents of staff-to-resident abuse that were alleged to have occurred in 2013.

In a letter dated September 22, 2014, Health PEI wrote:

"Since this information is not tracked Health PEI conducted a poll of all HR Managers to determine if any such incidents occurred in 2013. The response is that HR Managers are not aware of any incidents of staff to resident abuse in public long-term care facilities in 2013."

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QUEBEC

The Quebec Ministry of Health and Social Services responded to W5's request for statistics and details on incidents of staff-to-resident abuse that were alleged to have occurred in 2013, but was unable to provide any data because the information is not collected by the Ministry.

Professor Marie Beaulieu, Chairholder of the Research Chair on Mistreatment of Older Adults of the University of Sherbrooke, confirmed that no such statistics exist in the province of Quebec. She pointed out that there are no mandatory reporting laws in place in the province.

The Quebec ombudsmen, called "le Protecteur du citoyen," said that their offices received 54 complaints concerning long-term care facilities in 2013-2014, but would not specify how many dealt with staff behaviour.

The Quebec government does publish semi-annual reports on all health care facilities which includes incidents of "abuse, aggression and harassment" in long-term care homes (known as centres d'hébergement et de soins de longue durée, or CHSLDs in Quebec), but it is currently impossible to separate CHSLDS from other health facilities in that province.

To see these reports for 2013, click here.

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SASKATCHEWAN

There are twelve regional health authorities in Saskatchewan.

Eleven responded to W5's request for access to information under that province’s Local Authority Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act for statistics and details on incidents of staff-to-resident abuse that were alleged to have occurred in 2013.

Click on the name of the regional health authority to see their response.

  1. Saskatoon
  2. Heartland
  3. Cypress
  4. Sun Country 
  5. Keewatin Yatthe (did not respond)
  6. Sunrise
  7. Five Hills
  8. Prairie North
  9. Regina Qu'Appelle
  10. Prince Albert Parkland 
  11. Mamawetan Churchill River
  12. Kelsey Trail 

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YUKON

In Yukon, the Department of Health and Social Services responded to W5's request for access to information under the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, for statistics and details on incidents of staff-to-resident abuse that were alleged to have occurred in 2013.

No records were found.

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