Island Health has stepped in and is providing staff to “support and stabilize” Nanaimo Seniors Village through a staffing shortage. (NEWS BULLETIN photo)

Island Health helping ‘stabilize’ Nanaimo Seniors Village through staffing shortage

Hospital Employees’ Union demands care facility be put under administration by health authority

The Hospital Employees’ Union says there’s a “crisis of care” at a Nanaimo seniors home, but Island Health says the situation is being stabilized.

The health authority has stepped in and is providing staff to “support and stabilize” Nanaimo Seniors Village through a staffing shortage at the north-end care home, said Mark Blandford, Island Health’s executive director of primary care and seniors health.

Comox Valley Seniors Village was placed under administration earlier this week, and two days later, the HEU called for the same to happen at Nanaimo Seniors Village.

HEU secretary-business manager Jennifer Whiteside said in a press release that “the company’s inability to properly staff their Nanaimo location undermines the quality of care for seniors and creates unsafe working conditions for members.”

The union wrote to Island Health about its concerns a month ago and said the health authority hasn’t yet acted, though Blandford said “as soon as they notified us, we alerted our licensing program,” a separate branch of Island Health.

He said appointing an administrator is a big deal because it takes away the power of the owner-operator to manage its own business and said the measure has only been taken three times in the last 12 years at Vancouver Island facilities.

“It’s a last resort when attempts to correct the situation with the licencee have failed,” Blandford said. “In Nanaimo, we’re only a month into corrections and the licencee is working with us to achieve those corrections.”

RELATED: Island Health administrator appointed to troubled Comox seniors’ home

A report from the North Island Medical Health Officer noted 45 complaints and inspections in a six-month period at the Comox Valley facility. A Nanaimo report is expected next week, but will not be immediately made public, as Blandford’s office and the facility operator will have a chance to review it first.

Both Comox Valley Seniors Village and Nanaimo Seniors Village are managed by Pacific Reach Senior Housing Management. Jennie Deneka, partner at PRSHM, said in an e-mailed statement that issues pertaining to Nanaimo Seniors Village are related to staffing levels and recruiting challenges.

“The entire seniors care sector is experiencing an industry-wide labour shortage across the province and Nanaimo Seniors Village is no different. This has been well documented by the B.C. Care Providers Association who is running a provincewide campaign to try to recruit workers into the sector,” Deneka said. “Nanaimo Seniors Village has been working proactively with the local community, VIHA and stakeholders to address the industry-wide staffing challenges.”

Blandford said it’s too early to tell if Island Health’s collaborative efforts with the operator in Nanaimo are resulting in improved care for seniors there.

“I would say that if it is acceptable right now, it’s not optimal…” he said. “At this point in time, we’re monitoring it closely and if we feel that it’s unacceptable and the clients there are at risk, we would take other action.”



editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

City of Nanaimo to look at turning NDSS field into mid-size stadium

Parks and rec will begin stakeholder engagement and begin work on a phased plan for improvements

Nanaimo blues rock group Big Pacific releases sophomore album

‘Welcome to the Party’ unveiled at sold-out concert at the Queen’s

Woman arrested near Nanaimo’s Westwood Lake after road rage incidents

37-year-old woman facing charges including assault, assaulting a police officer, impaired driving

Stock the Lockers drive for vulnerable students in Nanaimo begins

Nanaimo-Ladysmith Schools Foundation exec says students need support leading up to fall semester

VIDEO: Otter pups learn to swim at B.C. wildlife rescue facility

Watch Critter Care’s Nathan Wagstaffe help seven young otters go for their first dip

Michael Buble among 13 British Columbians to receive Order of B.C.

Ceremony will be delayed to 2021 due to COVID-19

U.S. border communities feel loss of Canadian tourists, shoppers and friends

Restrictions on non-essential travel across the Canada-U.S. border have been in place since March 2`

Rollout of COVID-19 Alert app faces criticism over accessibility

App requires users to have Apple or Android phones made in the last five years, and a relatively new operating system

Alleged impaired driver sparks small wildfire near Lytton after crash: B.C. RCMP

Good Samaritans prevented the blaze from getting out of control

B.C. First Nation adopts ‘digital twinning’ software to better manage territory

Software allows users to visualize what a mountain might look like if the trees on its slopes were logged

All inquiry recommendations implemented after fatal Port Hardy RCMP shooting: Ministry

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. cleared the RCMP officers involved of wrongdoing

Most Read