The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority and city police are investigating allegations that more than a dozen residents were abused at a Winnipeg personal care home
Details about the nature of the alleged abuse have not been released.
Gina Trinidad, chief operating officer for community health services and long-term care at the WRHA, said the allegations involving 15 residents were brought forward to the health authority by a whistleblower June 10, although the company acknowledges it was first made aware of them in February.
“We are deeply disturbed and disappointed by these serious allegations and the process the facility initially took to investigate the concerns,” Trinidad said Tuesday.
Extendicare, which operates care homes in Ontario, Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan, said two health-care aides have been put on paid leave.
The WRHA said they’ve notified Winnipeg police, who, they said, are now conducting a criminal investigation. Trinidad said the health authority has also met with executives from Extendicare.
A police spokesperson confirmed to Global News they are investigating but wouldn’t release further details.
The WRHA said it was another whistleblower who first brought the allegations forward to local Extendicare management in February.
In a statement company said an internal investigation was launched at that time, but the “investigation did not follow Extendicare policies.”
Sandra Goers, Extendicare’s director of operational quality for Western Canada and regional director in Manitoba, said the failings in the initial investigation included not notifying the WRHA and only reaching out to one of the alleged victim’s families.
“It is completely unacceptable that this did not take place. For that, we unreservedly apologize to the residents, their families and to the Winnipeg regional Health Authority,” Goers said in a statement.
“We are deeply sorry for the distress we know many in our community are feeling right now.”
The company now says family of 12 of the 15 alleged victims have been notified.
Extendicare said Tuesday a new administrator and new regional director for Manitoba have also been been appointed.
Goers committed to sharing the results of any and all investigations with residents and families once they are made available.
Trinidad said the authority’s focus will be on supporting families and residents.
She said that since learning of the allegations, the health authority has conducted unannounced visits to ensure the safety and well-being of residents in care.
In October the Saskatchewan Health Authority announced it would be taking over operations of Extendicare’s long-term care services in that province after 42 residents died during a COVID-19 outbreak at personal care home run by the company in Regina.
–With files from The Canadian Press
© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
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