SENIORS CARE FACILITY A new administrator has been appointed at Summerland Seniors Village for a six-months period. The facility in Summerland has 112 long-term care beds. Interior Health funds 75 of the beds. At present, 12 beds are closed to admissions. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)

Interior Health appoints administrator at Summerland Seniors Village

Numerous concerns raised about private seniors care facility

An administrator has been appointed to manage the day-to-day long-term care operations at Summerland Seniors Village.

The appointment was made Monday by Interior Health’s board of directors, following a recommendation from Dr. Sue Pollock, chief medical health officer with Interior Health.

The administrator position will be full-time for the next six months.

The decision to appoint the administrator was made following numerous site visits by Interior Health Licensing and Quality staff. Pollock said the operator of the long-term care facility was unable to meet the legislated standards of care for residents.

READ ALSO: Administrator to oversee B.C. seniors’ home in wake of allegations of abuse, neglect

“Ensuring that seniors living in publicly funded, long-term care are receiving the high quality, safe and dignified care they need and deserve is Interior Health’s top priority and is at the heart of this decision,” said Dr. Doug Cochrane, board chair of Interior Health.

Pollock’s recommendation was made following an investigation process, including a significant amount of support provided to the site by Interior Health.

According to a report about the facility, dated Feb. 10, there were 10 non-critical infractions and seven critical infractions at the facility.

Pollock said despite efforts over many months, the operator still did not meet expectations defined in the provincial Community Care and Assisted Living Act.

This is not the first time Summerland Seniors Village has had challenges with site leadership, care planning, staff education and training and reporting.

In 2013, an administrator was appointed at Summerland Seniors Village for four months when the facility was under different ownership.

“I strongly support the decision by the Interior Health Board of Directors to appoint an administrator,” said Health Minister Adrian Dix. “We have and will continue to put the care and safety of seniors first before any other consideration, which is what is happening here.”

The administrator will be responsible for the operation of the facility, including care planning and delivery, site management, staff recruitment, orientation and education, developing and implementing policies and procedures and overall compliance with legislated standards of care.

READ ALSO: B.C. takes over another Retirement Concepts senior care home

Vanda Urban, a health-care leader with expertise in long-term care, will serve as the administrator. She has worked in health care for 35 years, 21 of those years in long-term care in B.C.

Urban has been in leadership roles with Interior Health for 14 years, most recently as the director of long-term care. She also worked as a nurse in long-term care in both publicly owned and contracted provider care homes.

Urban is also familiar with Summerland Seniors Village and was directly involved in recent quality reviews at the site. The administrator is appointed for a period of six months, subject to adjustments if conditions warrant.

Summerland Seniors Village is a privately owned, long-term care home operated by West Coast Seniors Housing Management, which manages the Retirement Concepts group of companies.

The facility has 112 long-term care beds. Interior Health publicly funds 75 of the beds and 12 beds are currently closed to admissions.

West Coast Seniors Housing Management operates two other long-term care facilities in Interior Health – one in Kamloops and one in Williams Lake. Interior Health does not have similar quality or licensing concerns with these sites.

However, Jennifer Whiteside, secretary-business manager with the Health Employees’ Union, said this is the fourth Retirement Concepts site placed under administration.

“It’s very disappointing, but it’s not surprising,” she said.

She added that wages paid at the Summerland facility are considerably lower than those paid at facilities run by Interior Health. As a result, attracting and retaining adequate staff is a challenge.

She added that concerns about Summerland Seniors Village need to be addressed in order to prevent similar issues from arising in the future.

“This is not the first time Summerland has been put under administration,” she said.

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