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Improving the lives of people with severe disabilities should be good news

Improving the lives of people with severe disabilities should be good news. Instead, the delay undermined confidence in the process.

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Plans to “deinstitutionalize” Vancouver Coastal Health and move them into private and shared apartments are in turmoil as we enter a new era of care for the severely disabled.

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Unexpected delays cost us millions of dollars over budget. By now, 44 of his 114 residents at the George Pearson Center should have settled in their new homes. Instead, only eight of hers were moved to private suites in Camby Gardens. The best estimate for when the remaining 36 of his will get there is an uncertain time in 2023.

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Several residents died. Others have withdrawn their applications to move. The stress and disappointment of having their dreams of a new home dashed again and again, piling up in an already fragile state, was exhausting them and their families.

Worse, they fear the Vancouver Coastal’s ability to manage the transition.

This means that some of B.C.’s most marginalized and hard-hit citizens will be treated as better off rather than being warehoused in hospitals built 70 years ago to treat tuberculosis patients. It should have been good news about finally being offered the chance to make a living.

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Instead, residents are caught in a web of sales and deals that began in 2013 when the BC government sold 25 acres of land that belonged to the Vancouver Coastal, including the George Pearson Center.

It took Onni Group another two years to acquire the site from the Vancouver Coastal.

After four years, excavations began. However, Onni and the city continued to escalate negotiations over a proposed Canada Line station near the site and, most recently, an energy service contract.

When final negotiations stalled, Onni used the resident as a pawn and refused to provide the keys to the completed suite to Vancouver Coastal.

In August, health officials sued Onni for millions of dollars in compensatory costs and damages for the delays due to increased costs related to the delays. includes monthly payments of $675,000.

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With the move stalled indefinitely, Vancouver Coastal in early September closed its lawsuit in exchange for prepaid access to the suites and dropped claims for costs and damages borne by taxpayers.

But instead of moving three residents a week as promised, health officials encountered another delay. Connect Partners did not have enough staff to accommodate 12 suites each of 6 beds, 4 beds and 4 individual apartments. It’s not there yet.

And there is a global shortage of healthcare workers in case anyone needs to be reminded.

Connect CEO John Sherwood said in an interview that the project will always be a “tough, tough project,” even before it hits any delays.

Deinstitutionalization on this scale has never happened before in BC. More than that, this family-owned company has provided care and services to people with acquired brain injuries. But Sherwood admitted he has little experience addressing the complex medical needs resulting from degenerative brain diseases such as ALS.

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“Unni’s delay caused quite a bit of trouble. It took months to prepare and by July it was fully ready. There was no target and no moving target as to when the migration would begin.”

In July, about half of the workers Connect needed were deployed. To keep them, Sherwood said the company gave them two orientation sessions that lasted several weeks and paid them.

“Without it, I would have had to start from scratch again,” he said.

But when they were called to work in September, nearly half didn’t show up.

Connect is scrambling to make up for lost wages and recruit and train a successor, Sherwood said. Vancouver Coastal Health is also keen to recover some of the $4 million or so he paid Connect so far. As such, Sherwood is negotiating reimbursement and downward adjustments to contracted monthly payments with health officials to reflect the reduction in the amount of work currently being done.

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All the delays, all this turmoil, all of a sudden, at the end of October, when coastal Vancouver told them the move would not be completed until some point in 2023, there was a lot of confidence among residents, their families, and loved ones. led to a crisis. And fewer people than his three expected to move in a week.

Until last week, Connect’s website said the company was “made specifically for the (George Pearson Centre) project” and offered its trademark Life Redesign Model.

Vancouver Coastal hinted at nearly 30 years of experience when it announced the deal in March 2021, but has yet to connect the dots for anyone, including residents.

Connect is owned by Classic LifeCare, a family-owned Sherwood company that has provided home care services and operated long-term care facilities since the mid-1980s.

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Its residential facilities are accredited and provide contract beds to the Vancouver Coastal, Fraser and Inland Health Authorities. Internally, it operates the Lake Country Learning Center. At Fraser Health, Classic Care Homes operates Brydon House, Classic Homestead South, Classic Homestead East, Classic Homestead West and Jans Place.

Had it been well managed, this could have been good news. Instead, it’s an unfolding story of secret deals, conspiratorial developers, a mysterious company, and delays shrouded in fog with (almost) no comment and very little explanation.

And this is just the beginning of the end of the first stage. Another 70 of her residents are still waiting for new homes to be built.

dbramham@postmedia.com


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Improving the lives of people with severe disabilities should be good news

Source link Improving the lives of people with severe disabilities should be good news

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