Jun. 08, 2016
On May 16, 2016, the College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO) issued a decision regarding the misconduct of a former staff member, Susan Muzylowsky, at Mount Hope Centre for Long Term Care. This individual has permanently resigned as a member of the CNO.
This former employee misconduct was reported to the CNO by leadership at Mount Hope. Due to a publication ban imposed by the CNO on the name of the facility, legally Mount Hope could not previously respond to inquiries about this issue. Mount Hope did not request this ban.
Mount Hope has zero tolerance for abuse and neglect of residents. The conduct of the former employee is completely unacceptable and we deeply regret this behaviour took place in our facility. We apologize for the distress this incident has caused residents and families as well as our staff and the community.
Mount Hope leadership received allegations of abuse from staff members about the former employee for the first time on Aug. 5, 2014. Within one hour of receiving the allegations, the employee was suspended pending an investigation and never returned to work. An internal investigation was conducted and, as a result of that investigation, the staff member was involuntarily terminated on Sept. 5, 2014. We notified and apologized to residents and/or families impacted and offered support.
Mount Hope reported the allegations immediately to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC). The MOHLTC began an inspection on Aug. 18, 2014 and we made all information available to the inspectors at that time. During this inspection, the MOHLTC reviewed the critical incident, Mount Hope’s internal investigation, and our policies and procedures for the prevention of abuse and neglect. There were no findings of non-compliance. The results of this inspection were posted publicly in a report dated Sept. 15, 2014. The MOHLTC initiated a second inspection into this incident on May 26, 2016. We are collaborating in their investigation and, as we did two years ago, are making all information available. We welcome any opportunity to improve our care and processes.
Mount Hope also submitted its report to the CNO on Sept. 12, 2014 upon completion of our internal investigation. We fully collaborated with CNO in their follow up and made all information available to them. The CNO completed their investigation with us in April 2015. We received no further inquiries from them after that time, and received no further communication from them on the matter until after their Notice of Hearing was publicly posted in April 2016.
The care, safety and dignity of our residents are paramount at Mount Hope and the focus of the work we do every day. Our staff members are dedicated and caring individuals who are committed to the wellbeing of our residents.
We are grateful staff reported their concerns about this individual. Staff are encouraged to and have a duty to report allegations, and mechanisms are in place to create a safe environment to report concerns. As well, residents and families are educated and reminded about their rights and the complaints process. We strive for a safe environment for residents and families to speak up, and they are encouraged to do so. Since 2014, we have further strengthened our education for staff on elimination of abuse and neglect in long term care. For residents and families, additional educational initiatives have been implemented to help enhance understanding of the Resident Bill of Rights and the complaints process. Allegations are investigated and appropriate action is taken in response.
There have been many other changes at Mount Hope, through numerous improvement projects, since new leadership was established in 2014. St. Joseph’s is committed to ongoing efforts and initiatives across our organization to improve processes, practices, the care we provide and the patient/resident experience. Again, we sincerely apologize to our residents, their families and our community.