Honouring Commitments: An Investigation of Fraser Health Authority's Transfer of Seniors from Temporarily Funded Residential Care Beds

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Authority Fraser Health Authority
Category Health, Seniors
Classification Special Report No. 33
Type Report

On February 14, 2012 the Ombudsperson released Special Report No. 33 Honouring Commitments: An Investigation of Fraser Health Authority’s Transfer of Seniors from Temporarily Funded Residential Care Beds. This investigation was the result of complaints received by the Ombudsperson after the Fraser Health Authority (FHA) reversed an earlier written commitment made to seniors at a residential care facility in Surrey.

People complained to the Ombudsperson about the actions taken by FHA beginning in 2008, when FHA made a written commitment to seniors in temporarily funded beds in a residential care facility in Surrey that they would not have to move from that facility. FHA later went back on its commitment and told seniors still living in that facility that the health authority could no longer fund the beds and that they would have to move within a month and a half.

The issues investigated included:

  • Whether the decision to move residents was fair and reasonable given the earlier commitment
  • Whether the notice provided to residents and families was adequate
  • Whether FHA considered the risks to the health and safety of seniors being moved
  • Whether the planning processes followed by FHA were sufficient
  • Whether FHA required compliance with regulatory notice requirements

The Ombudsperson found that the FHA acted unfairly in deciding to move the residents out of temporarily funded beds in light of its prior written commitment. The investigation resulted in seven findings and nine recommendations.

Key recommendations to FHA included:

  • Apologize to residents and families at Newton Regency affected by its decision (Recommendation 1.1)
  • Provide at least 60 days’ notice to residents and families of decisions to cease funding beds (Recommendation 2.1)
  • Inform people whether an offered placement is temporary or permanent and explain the difference between them (Recommendation 2.2)
  • When planning to transfer seniors, ensure sufficient flexibility to take individual circumstances into account and to minimize adverse effects (Recommendation 3)
  • Take action to ensure operators are in compliance with the requirement to provide notice of a decision to close or substantially change a residential care facility (Recommendation 5.1)

Fraser Health Authority agreed to implement all of the recommendations.

Date Tuesday, February 14, 2012