CITIZEN WATCH developed the following summary from information in the May 9, 2005 Press Release by the Ministers of Health and Wellness and Seniors and Community Supports which responds to the release of the Auditor General’s Report on Seniors Care and Programs (2005). The summary highlights key actions promised by both Ministries, independently and jointly, to fulfill the Auditor General’s recommendations for major reform. CITIZEN WATCH will endeavor to monitor and report to the public on the outcome of those promises.
The Minister of Health and Wellness promises to:
1. Develop new Continuing Care Health Service Standards which will:
apply to long term care facilities, assisted living, supportive living and home care services
focus care practices around the needs of the individual
require development of a care plan for each client, and focus measuring and reporting on the effectiveness of care provided to each individual
clearly spell out responsibilities of clients and their families, health care providers, operators, Regional Health Authorities and the Department of Health and Wellness
include provisions for monitoring and reporting on long-term care facilities’ compliance with health service standards and legislation
establish a process for regular reviews and upgrading of standards to meet professional best practices
2. Implement improved resident assessment tools to measure the quality and effectiveness of services and show whether individual care needs and provincial goals are being met
3. Increase the daily average care hours for each resident in long term care facilities from 3.1 to 3.4 by 2005/2006.
4. Develop a training program for health care aides
5. Introduce more frequent, unannounced quality assurance visits to long-term care facilities with quality improvement and monitoring teams composed of clinical and management operations specialists
6. Develop standardized elements for contracts with long-term care providers
7. Conduct a stakeholder review of proposed health and accommodation service standards by the end of August 2005
NOTE: CITIZEN WATCH believes it is also important for the Minister to clearly explain to the people of Alberta exactly what goods and services are now being separated out and classed as “health” and what goods and services are now being separated out and classed as “accommodation” … and WHY.