After repeated violations, Interior Health has appointed an administrator to run a Merritt care home

IH takes over care home

Interior Health has taken the unusual step of appointing an administrator to run a Merritt long-term care facility after repeated failed inspections.

The decision, announced Tuesday, was based on a recommendation from IH medical health officer Dr. Carol Fenton, which came after regular inspections determined the operator of The Florentine “was unable to meet the legislated standard of care for residents.”

On March 4, Castanet reported The Florentine was the subject of 19 outstanding Interior Health infractions, eight of them deemed critical in nature. The facility was also the site of a small COVID-19 outbreak.

Infractions included shortfalls in outbreak prevention, sanitizing, fall prevention, restraints and “the health, safety and dignity of persons in care,” according to IH inspection reports.

“This decision is based on ensuring seniors who live in long-term care receive the high quality, safe and dignified care they need,” IH board chair Dr. Doug Cochrane said in a news release.

“Interior Health’s board of directors has full confidence in the decision presented by staff and it is our top priority to ensure The Florentine is brought into legislative compliance.”

IH has named Matt Renfrew temporary administrator of The Florentine. His appointment is full-time for a period of four months, with adjustments as warranted.

Renfrew has previously managed the Overlander long-term care home in Kamloops and is IH’s interim director of clinical operations for community seniors care.

“I strongly support the decision by the Interior Health board of directors to appoint an administrator,” B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix said in a news release.

“We have and will continue to put the care and safety of seniors first before any other consideration, which is happening here.”

According to IH, Renfrew will be responsible for supporting critical functions at The Florentine including care planning and delivery, site management, staff recruitment, policy development and overall compliance.

The Florentine is a privately owned long-term care home in Merritt with 20 independently funded beds.

More Kamloops News