Dear Members of the McCormick Care Group Community,
I would like to provide further information regarding the air conditioning compliance order from the Ministry of Long-Term Care. I acknowledge that many of you may have some concerns over this issue and the related news coverage. We hope this additional information will give you a better understanding of the situation.
Please be assured that the home provides efficient cooling to all resident rooms and common areas. Our system ensures that residents are comfortable at all times, including throughout the warmer seasons. We monitor room temperatures regularly to ensure the system is working as designed and have been reporting them to the ministry on an ongoing basis.
When we built our current facility in 2006, we designed it based on our residents’ feedback, including the modern cooling technology we chose. At the time, many said they found traditional air conditioning to be uncomfortably cold. In addition, our system is safer than portable air conditioning units, which Public Health Ontario has cautioned can spread infections and outbreaks in health care settings.
We have been working regularly with the ministry over the past two years to convey that our cooling system not only meets, but exceeds their standards. As well, a retrofit of the system would mean closing much-needed beds, even though it is already working well to keep residents safe, healthy and comfortable. There is a shortage of beds facing hospitals and in long-term care. As such, we feel strongly that we should avoid rotating shut-downs of our home to accommodate an unnecessary change of our current system.
We regrettably have chosen to appeal this order in the effort to keep as many beds open as possible and continue our long-standing history of serving our community with high quality care. Although we are appealing, we intend to continue working with the ministry to reach a resolution.
In the meantime, please feel free to let me know if you have any questions.
Thank you for your continued support.
Steve Crawford, CEO
McCormick Care Group