New allegation of neglect at Bruyere

There is another allegation of neglect stemming out of Bruyere Continuing care.

Earlier this month two families spoke out about lack of care at St. Vincent Hospital and since then one more family has come forward to CFRA.

Daniela Paunache said her mother was mistreated during her stay at the Elisabeth Bruyere Hospital back in March.

Paunache alleged her mother wasn't fed the prescribed diet, her medication was delayed and her cries for help to go to the bathroom when unnoticed for more than 45 minutes.

She said her brother ran to his mother's aid when he heard her cries for help one morning. He took her to the washroom himself.

"Mom was a very proud and private person," she said. "For him, for example, to have to take her to the bathroom - that was nuts. She'd rather have a stranger do it, because you know what? That's their jobs. This is what they're there for. That is why you're here - not my kids to carry me or see me in that state. Unfortunately it was necessary because nobody else did it."

Paunache said her mother's doctor prescribed a diet of pureed food, but staff did not initially switch over to food that was easier to swallow.

She also pointed to another instance where her mother was prescribed pain medication on a Sunday, but was told the pharmacy was closed and she would not be able to get any until the next day.

Paunache's mother passed away at Bruyere on March 31st. She had been unresponsive earlier in the day, but staff could not get in touch with the family.

"The day she died, that morning, they gave her a sponge bath," she said. "She was unresponsive. Did you not notice that you're moving her around and she's not waking up? Did anybody bother to call us?"

Paunache said when they did not hear from her, and aunt went to check up on her and found her unresponsive.

"They pride themselves on the care - you know what? Whoever Elisabeth Bruyere was way back then and started this may have had a vision. It went down hill, down the drain. That's it," she said. "That woman is in a grave somewhere, she's turning over because this is, I'm sure, not what she had in mind."

Paunache and her brother Chris were supposed to meet with staff at Bruyere on March 31st to discuss their concerns, however the family cancelled that meeting in the wake of their mother's death.

"That's what I was told - she fell through the cracks," said Paunache. "You're telling me my mother fell through the cracks? Really? I mean, wow! We're talking about humans. We pride ourselves on taking care of animals. This is human beings."

Dr. Shaun McGuire, the Chief of Staff at Bruyere told CFRA they have made changes to meet patient care needs in recent months, including hiring more staff and updating some of their information technology systems.

"We're making changes to meet the patient care needs, changes that are underway as we speak," he said. "Other changes that have happened is we are bringing in staff to provide increased development and education. We've made changes to some of the information technology systems that are designed to give care providers more time to spend with patients at the bed side."

"We have quality systems that allow us to monitor the quality of the care services that we're providing and allow changes to be made in response to the information that those systems provide us," said McGuire. "As well, we've brought in quality care teams right down at the patient services level that include not only providers, but also have input from the patients themselves."

He said the type of patients they see at Bruyere are different in the past and they are in an adjustment period.

"Health care is changing in terms of the types of patients that are presenting," he said. "Often times, patients present now with many different health conditions all at the same time that requires care to be provided to them by teams."

Paunache and her family are still settling back into their lives following the death of her mother, but she said she wanted to share her story in the hopes of spurring change.

"It won't help Mom. But you know what? There's so many people in there in the same situation as our mother," she said.


Bruyere takes action following complaints of neglect, abuse

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