Update: Woman Accuses Sunnybrook of Putting on a Show for Federal Officials
Amid allegations of abuse, neglect and poor staffing levels, new allegations arose Friday morning about the situation at the Veterans Centre at Sunnybrook Hospital.
In a Newstalk 1010 exclusive Debra Stuart says she was at the facility visiting her 90-year-old father, when two senior officials with Veterans Affairs Canada arrived to go through the facility and meet with staff.
“It was quite a spectacle to see what was happening on the floor. The staffing was five times what it is on a typical day. There were doctors, administrators, nurses all kinds of staff were running around. That is not a true objective reflection of the day to day situation on that floor.”Debra Stuart told Newstalk 1010’s Amber Gero.
Stuarts says this audit must be transparent and objective, saying Sunnybrook officials have shown that they do not take the complaints of family members seriously, and in some cases, deny complaints were even made to begin with.
Debra Stuart says the audit also have to be done quickly so these veterans’ last days can be comfortable and they can be treated properly.
Stuart says on numerous occasions her father has gone hours without eating, his meal sitting cold on a side table. Her 90-year-old father has fallen and been left unsupervised for hours, and baths have been delayed because of the shortage of staff.
Reports surfaced last week with family members issuing allegations of neglect and short-staffing levels that have left their already vulnerable loved ones in an even more vulnerable state.
Sunnybrook officials denied the allegations saying they meet or exceed provincial standards of care, however according to those officials the last audit happened more than seven years ago and before the Ontario government brought in new rules for long-term care facilities.
The Ontario Ministry of health has no involvement in the oversight of the Sunnybrook Veteran’s Centre.
Veterans Affairs has confirmed to Newstalk 1010 that Minister Steven Blaney has ordered an audit of the quality of care that the some 500 veterans receive at Sunnybrook hospital.
A spokesperson for the ministry says the concerns of veterans and their families are being taken seriously.
Sunnybrook denies the allegations and says the hospital welcomes an extra set of eyes, although when reached on Friday, a spokesperson said they were only aware of the audit because of media reports.
(Photo courtesy of the Canadian Press)
(With files from Russ Courtney)