Lac-Saint-Louis Member of Parliament, Francis Scarpaleggia, advised his constituents that a public consultation has been launched to support the development of a Safe Long-Term Care Act.
What could a Safe Long-Term Care Act look like?
The Canadian Institute for Health Information defines long-term care (LTC) as a range of health and personal care services provided to seniors with complex support needs living in designated LTC homes. The new Act could help guide Canadian-wide principles for safe care in long-term care homes that reflect the two new national standards.
Last December, the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) Group posted its standard, Long-term care home operations, and infection prevention and control, which addresses the design, operation, and infection prevention and control practices in long-term care homes.
More recently, this January, the Health Standards Organization (HSO) released their standard, Long-Term Care Services, that focuses on practices centered around residents and their families, an outcome-focused organizational culture, a competent workforce, and safe, quality care. It encourages the provinces and territories to adopt these standards.
A Safe Long-Term Care Act could touch on principles guiding inclusive, accountable, high-quality care and a supported workforce. Some principles that are important to Canadians include:
resident safety and choice,
culturally safe and trauma-informed care,
care that is integrated with other parts of the health continuum,
decisions that take into consideration its residents, essential caregivers, families, and staff.
The Act could support the following actions:
Creation of a framework and action plan on long-term care:
Developing a national care framework and action plan that focuses on training and education for healthcare professionals and caregivers, public awareness campaigns, data collection, and research to improve services.
Establishing guidelines and standards for quality of care in long-term care facilities to ensure consistent and compassionate services across the country.
Enhancement of long-term care indicators and reporting:
Building upon existing long-term care indicators (e.g., CIHI measures) and incorporating new measures or rating systems (e.g., United States 5-star ranking) to evaluate and monitor the quality of services.
Requiring regular reporting on the state of long-term care.
Replication of promising practices:
Establishing a mechanism to identify successful long-term care practices and facilitating their replication in other areas.
The online Safe Long-Term Care consultation closes on September 21, 2023.
Scarpaleggia encouraged constituents to participate: "The 60-day online consultation invites people, including LTC residents and their families, to share their perspectives and expertise on how to improve the quality and safety of LTC, foster the implementation of the LTC standards, address human resources challenges, and strengthen accountability in the LTC sector. Feedback will help inform the drafting of the legislation."
Input on the changes they wish to see in the sector, processes, and collaborations will be key elements for feedback. Those who are caregivers, a person residing in a LTC home, and members of the LTC workforce are especially encouraged to participate in this consultation.
SOURCE: Government of Canada, Canadian Institute for Health Information.