Health Coalitions Survey LTC workers

Three groups have teamed up to survey Long Term Care workers to uncover deficiencies.  Using the results, they are now lobbying the Provincial Government to make improvements.  Their Press Conference on Tuesday, June 22 was on Zoom and recorded on Facebook with the video plus full survey results available via Links below.  This report will focus on their key findings and recommendations.  Their survey shows that the big problem is staffing which was a problem pre-Covid but is now worse.  The group believe that Government promises to increase the number of beds are both insufficient and unrealistic.  They also want a focus on public facilities and not “for-profit” homes.  To be clear, they are not talking about Retirement Homes but only Long Term Care homes – the biggest example in Northumberland is the Golden Plough Lodge although it was not named in their presentation.

Concerned Groups and Contacts

Survey of 99 Long Term Care Health Workers

As of June 1, 2021
Highlights – see full report in links below

Have all of the residents been vaccinated at your workplace?
Yes – 85.86%
No – 17.17%

Are you and your co-workers being provided all necessary PPE?
Yes – 87.88%
No – 13.3%
Linda Mackenzie-Nicholas, Chair of the Northumberland Health Coalition, commented that there is a concern that masks provided are probably not the more effective N-95 version and that this needs more research.

Have the staff levels at your workplace returned to pre-COVID-19 levels?
Yes – 29.90%
No – 70.10%

How often do you find yourself working short?

  • Daily- 76%
  • 50 % of the time – 12%
  • Didn’t answer – 7%
  • Not in my role/Not applicable – 2%
  • Once or twice every few weeks – .09%

What do you feel is the biggest issue that needs to be resolved at your workplace in order to provide full service delivery to the residents at your workplace?

  • Increased staffing – 70%
  • Better management – 29%
  • More money – 21%
  • More Full-time – 8%
  • Better/more vacation – 3%
  • Improved COVID health and safety measures – 2%
  • Better Union – .09%
  • Childcare – .09%
  • Every LTC home should have a BSO Team (Behavioural Supports Ontario) – .09%
  • Better equipment – .09%
  • Childcare – .09%
  • Lack of Linen – .09%
  • Nothing – .09%


  • End for-profit Long-Term Care homes,
  • Follow through on your promise to hire additional qualified staff without fast-tracking undertrained students or reducing qualifications,
  • Ensure all LTC residents receive at least the minimum four hours of direct hands-on care per day your government promised,
  • Set a minimum pay standard, consistent with the hospital sector, for frontline LTC staff that includes not only personal support workers and other medical professionals, but also cleaning, food service and administrative staff,
  • Ensure a minimum of 70 per cent of staff at each LTC home are full-time.

In the video at the link below, several speakers expand on the above points.


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26 June 2021 6:57 pm

The last preretirement role my wife had was as a manager of a team of nine fellow Nurse Practitioners responsible for providing emergency care to patients in 21 LTCs in the Region of Peel. Their mission was to keep LTC patients out of the William Osler Hospital emergency room. That ER had become the busiest in Ontario, and supposedly, all of Canada. On average, a LTC patient could spend 18 hours in the ER, on a gurney, before treatment. In many cases, they were returned to the LTC home in worse shape than they left. These NPs were parachuted into the homes to stabilize the situation. If you polled them, which I use to do informally when we gathered for Christmas, summer, etc team parties, they were unanimous in saying the standard of care found in the for profit LTCs of their group was significantly less than at say the Regional homes. One example: she was called to pronounce death of a patient in a for profit shop. On arrival she realized this patient had been dead for hours and clearly the night shift had not visited the room at all nor administered any of the care prescribed. She went ballistic on the staff, told them that their relatives should wind up in a home that treats them like that and then filed complaints with the College of Nurses against the licensed nurses responsible. (Note: PSWs are not licensed and do not report to a College as all MDs, NPs RNs, LPNs do.) If you asked her, that would never have happened in a non-profit facility.

Linda Mackenzie-Nicholas
25 June 2021 3:33 pm

We have to find a way to make sure that living conditions improve for LTC residents. You never know when YOU or one of your famaily members could become one.

Reply to  Linda Mackenzie-Nicholas
25 June 2021 5:05 pm

I just came from a visit to Golden Plough Lodge. The place is sparkling clean and well-run; the staff are cheerful to a fault; and I’m told the food is very good and lots of it. The staff fit on the headphones and dial the phone for the resident in question, and make sure the call goes through OK.

They were having a birthday party for all who had a birthday this month when I left Cake and ice cream all around.

I agree that making sure LTC homes maintain high standards is very important; GPL is the least of our concerns in this regard in my opinion.

Bill Thompson
Reply to  JimT
25 June 2021 9:32 pm

Aside from the fact that is slated to be demolished .

Reply to  Bill Thompson
27 June 2021 8:28 am

just imagine how much nicer it will be for the residents and staff once the new building is open

Reply to  Mark
29 June 2021 4:25 pm

I don’t think so.

The current place is in great shape and has 2 landscaped garden areas in the center where residents and guests can relax in a sheltered environment or see through their windows in many cases.

The staff are great, and that won’t change with the new building.

I don’t see much room for improvement.

Reply to  JimT
28 June 2021 8:32 am

Your LUCKY to get in there with the 5 yr waiting list
How long did it take ?

Reply to  Sandpiper
29 June 2021 4:26 pm

Don’t know. I wasn’t involved in that part.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Sandpiper
29 June 2021 5:40 pm

Since it seems to take forever to get a room, what is the percent increase in number of rooms between the old and the new GP?

Last edited 1 year ago by Ken Strauss
25 June 2021 1:35 pm

The LT Care system is clearly broken in Ontario. I think all can agree on that. The sad state of affairs has been laid bare by the pandemic and much of the systemic issues are highlighted, not only in John’s article above, but, in the Auditor General’s scathing 107 page report published April 28th. (can be found online at reality is that there are several thousand families who have personal stories of grief as a result too.
I can’t think that the Premier helped his cause by passing Bill 218 last summer protecting LT Care companies from liability. It did help the share price of companies like Chartwell whose stock has almost doubled in the past year…..and whose Chairman once held Ford’s job…

I dunno…it sure seems like a Public Inquiry into LT Care is worth another attempt—-if , in fact–recommendations actually can get implemented. The last LT Care investigation was in 2017 and involved the Elizabeth Wettlaufer misdeeds. I’m sure the next commissioner can just pick up where the last one left off…..

John Hill
25 June 2021 9:43 am

I can agree with the bulk of the recommendations but not the first. Ending for-profit LTC homes ignores that a lot of money can be made by establishing a “not-for-profit” facility. Many people do not realize that not-for-profits in fact strive to make a profit. The distinction is where the profits are allocated. They can be channeled back into upgrades for the home but more than likely the profits would go to overpaid operators. Convicted multimillionaire wife-killer Helmuth Buxbaum used to counsel KP inmates that if one wants to become rich, do like he did and start a not-for-profit. These corporations are not necessarily charities. For-profit or not-for-profit facilities need strict regulations and frequent inspection.

Reply to  John Hill
25 June 2021 10:26 am

For sure. Any organization can become “non-profit” by channeling all earnings left over after costs are paid into salaries and bonuses for upper management to the point where there is nothing left to call “profit”.

Income then = expenses, and profit = 0.

Reply to  JimT
25 June 2021 12:34 pm

Your scenario is true but the organization would still be a “for-profit” entity. As John Hill points out, the not-for-profit status has nothing to do with earning a profit (or not). It is all about the ownership, equity structure and retention of the profits to further the “business” of the NFP organization. In a not-for-profit organization, there is no equity ownership and the profits are not distributed to the “owners”. Profits are retained within the organization for the benefit of the “members”. Private golf clubs, various sport clubs not-for-profit housing, LTC facilities, municipalities, public hospitals etc, are examples.

Charities are typically NFP organizations but many NFPs are not charities. The status of “charity” is a tax department (CRA) designation and has nothing to do with being an NFP organization.
John Hill also notes that NFPs strive to make a profit. The reason is that the profits pay for capital additions and expansion (growth), exactly the same as a for-profit.

Linda Mackenzie-Nicholas
Reply to  Bryan
25 June 2021 3:39 pm

It is a fact that it was the For profit chains that had more COVID-19 cases and deaths than the not-for-profits. That is one big concern. Secondly the private for profits are well know to have less F-T staff, less access to necessary amenities such as DEPENDS etc. And why would it not? Profit and not-for-profits are provided the same funding, but in the private for-profit home, money has be taken from something to provide money to the shareholders.

Reply to  Linda Mackenzie-Nicholas
25 June 2021 4:36 pm

Linds M-N:
Totally agree. The FP organizations have to distribute some profit to the shareholders and spending less on operations is one way to generate that profit.
JimT,s scenario also occurs. NFP senior executives pad their salaries and expenses and skimp on resident oriennted operational expenses.
Abuses occur in both FP and NFP organizations. Neither are saints.

25 June 2021 9:04 am

Lots of items left out or over looked one might be
Mandatory requirement of staff to vaccinate for what ever the
Pandemic of the day presents , and with in a timely fashion . This should apply to all health care workers and Teachers but the Unions protect these people and the wright to work in the public work place even on the front lines with out the Shot .
Its the nature of the job to protect us the public from exposure even from them the health care providers.
Why have the staff not returned to work ? this suggest 70% shortages
does this mean that the province have now hired all the staff away from the private sector
or are they sitting at home ?
Providing more money for what ? what will actually be improved ? management wages ?
I know that with all the money our Northumberland Hill Hospital has received over the years
that the emergency room wait times have not improved 1 bit . But the wages and management salaries have
We need Quality affordable LTC beds both then and now with out 1 and 2 yr wait times .

jd Mitch
25 June 2021 8:39 am

I’m not sure that the highlights of the survey (presented above) support the first recommendation: end for-profit long-term care. Seem more of a political agenda than evidence based recommendation,

Reply to  jd Mitch
25 June 2021 9:12 am


Those who can afford luxurious accommodations and facilities for their later years beyond the level provided by municipally-operated LTCs should be able to contract with private operators to provide it.

How could the provincial government deny wealthy citizens the right to spend their own retirement savings on the upscale accommodations they desire with for-profit providers of their choice?

Last edited 1 year ago by JimT
Linda Mackenzie-Nicholas
Reply to  JimT
25 June 2021 3:43 pm

Asking for not for profit LTC homes (which to be clear is not about retirement homes), is not about upscaled accommodations. If people have the money and can pay more for upscaled accommodations -they can do so in a private-for profit facility or a not-for profit facility today. That would continue.

24 June 2021 8:49 pm

You would think everyone working in LTC should be vaccinated by now

Reply to  Mark
25 June 2021 8:20 am

I wonder if it is their families that are refusing the vaccination for them.

Reply to  Christine
25 June 2021 9:02 am

I don’t think the families have any say about refusing vaccinations for anyone “working in LTC”.

Last edited 1 year ago by JimT
Reply to  Mark
25 June 2021 9:18 am

Good to know that vaccinations are not mandatory for either staff of residents, thank goodness. I think those residents have earned the right to choose and give informed consent (or not). The staff should also have the right to choose. If they choose to not be vaccinated than as health measures begin to ease, they will likely need to continue to adhere to masking, distancing, etc… in particular when dealing with unvaccinated residents.

Those vaccinated are NOT put at risk by the unvaccinated – therefore if individuals are concerned, they should get vaccinated themselves and stop worrying about vaccine status of others.

It is frustrating to see staffing levels are low however this is endemic and not unique to LTC – there is a labour shortage throughout North American and its creating significant issues.

ben burd
Reply to  Rob
25 June 2021 9:30 am

Of course the employees should have the right to choose not to vaccinate, and the Empoyer should have the right to mandate only vaccinated employees can work in any workplace.

That would make the unvaccinated think hard about their beliefs or their jobs.

Constance Mealing
Reply to  Rob
25 June 2021 1:00 pm

Where do you get the idea that the vaccinated are not put at risk by the unvaccinated? How do you think this virus spreads? Your comment boggles my mind.

Reply to  Constance Mealing
25 June 2021 3:08 pm

I would suggest that the virus is transmitted to and from unvaccinated or under-vaccinated individuals. The purpose of the vaccine is that should a vaccinated individual come into contact with covid-19 the risk of symptoms, illness and potential hospitalization are greatly reduced (95% efficacy against becoming symptomatic). Also, the evidence continues to grow and support that vaccinated individuals are much less likely to transmit the virus to others. So if unvaccinated people come into contact with a vaccinated person where is the risk?

I support vaccines including this one…

Reply to  Rob
26 June 2021 6:29 pm
  • They have not absolutely established that vaccinated people can not carry the virus in their nasal pharynx and, from there, spread it to unvaccinated people.
  • The level of efficacy of each of the vaccines used in Canada is different and, depending on the age cohort, far less than 95%.
  • All employers in a health care environment, particularly one that is funded by public monies, should require their staff be fully vaccinated. This absolutely protects the patients, who, by virtue of average age are likely to have reduced and rapidly declining protection from the vaccines.
24 June 2021 4:04 pm

The recommendations are spot on and we have only to ask when and who will implement them. The Ford government will fight tooth and nail against this.
We should do our best to prevent for-profit LTC’s and particularly public-private deals. Thanks to the various Health Coalitions in conducting this survey. And remember the LTC failures of our current provincial government during next election. Let’s keep creeping capitalism out of our Long Term Care centres.