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Whistleblower complaints reveal crisis in long-term care homes

Ombudsman asking staff, family members, caregivers and residents to weigh in with their personal observations
long term care
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TORONTO - Whistleblower complaints from staff and complaints from concerned family members reveal a crisis in many Ontario long-term care homes.

Patient Ombudsman is learning of significant safety concerns in long-term care homes including:

  • Severe staffing shortages;
  • Inadequate infection control and prevention measures;
  • Inability to meet the basic care needs for some residents; and
  • Poor or no communication.

Patent Ombudsman is asking staff, family members, caregivers and residents to disclose situations where they feel the safety of long-term care home residents and staff may be in significant jeopardy.

These complaints will help inform our response to support the care of vulnerable long-term care home residents, including potential investigations. We are proactively sharing information that comes to our office with the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Long-Term Care and Ontario Health.  

“This is a frightening time for many patients, residents, families and caregivers. Our goal is to learn as much as we can about how COVID-19 is affecting residents and staff in long-term care homes. Our hope is to help long-term care homes with future pandemic planning – including additional and potential new waves of COVID-19” (Craig Thompson, Executive Director, Patient Ombudsman)

Anyone with relevant information about COVID-19 issues in Ontario’s long-term care homes is encouraged to file a complaint at, or call 1-888-321-0339.

Patient Ombudsman is a champion for fairness in healthcare. We facilitate resolutions and investigate complaints about patient care and healthcare experiences with long-term care homes, public hospitals and home and community care coordinated through Local Health Integration Networks. We take the time to listen closely to all perspectives without taking sides. Our work aims to improve the system for everyone, by shining a light on issues of concern.



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