Nova Scotia plans to publicly report long-term care abuse

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The province says it is working toward publicly reporting incidents of abuse in Nova Scotia long-term care homes.

Right now, data on abuse cases is not made public and is only available through requests made under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

A recent CBC News investigation revealed there were 46 substantiated cases of abuse in long-term care facilities over a two-year period.

That kind of information is easily accessible to the public in Alberta and Manitoba, the only other provinces that have laws similar to Nova Scotia’s Protection for Persons in Care Act, which is an extra safeguard for people in hospitals, residential care facilities and nursing homes.

Those provinces produce annual reports that include the number of complaints received, the number of investigations conducted, the type of facility where the incident is alleged to have occurred, the type of abuse reported and the outcome of the investigation.

The Nova Scotia government said it is working on providing similar public reporting.

“We’ve had several meetings already internally to move that work forward, so I’m hopeful that it will be very soon,” said Bob Lafferty, Nova Scotia’s manager of investigations and compliance for the Protections of Persons in Care Act.

Bob Lafferty

Bob Lafferty, manager of investigations and compliance for the Protections of Persons in Care Act. (Brian Mackay/CBC)

Neither Lafferty or Health Minister Randy Delorey would commit to a timeline.

“I think it’s important,” Delorey said. “As a government, not just in our health-care system, but collectively, we recognize the importance of transparency and the value of information to our citizens.”

Randy Delorey

Nova Scotia Health Minister Randy Delorey. (Pat Callaghan/CBC)

Lafferty said his team is trying to determine what information can be released.

“It’s a fine line between transparency and the sensitive nature of the PPCA investigation and respecting the privacy of those individuals involved, so we’re really juggling that fine line between the two.”

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Nova Scotia plans to publicly report long-term care abuse

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