Justice Eileen Gillese will lead an independent public inquiry into the policies, procedures and oversight of long term care homes.
WOODSTOCK - Canada's first documented health care killer has lead to a Provincial inquiry into the safety and security of residents at long term care homes.
In June Elizabeth Wettlaufer pled guilty to killing 8 seniors while she worked as a nurse at long term care homes in Woodstock and London. Today the Province announced that the Honourable Justice Eileen Gillese will lead an independent public inquiry into the policies, procedures and oversight of long term care homes. Gillese is an experienced judge of the Ontario Court of Appeal.
Justice Gillese will be tasked with looking into the circumstance and systemic issues which may have contributed to the Wettlaufer murders and assaults. The goal of the inquiry is to get answers and make sure a tragedy like this never happens again.
Justice Gillese will be looking into accountability measures currently in place to make sure they are meeting the objectives of the Long Term Care Homes Act and provide recommendations to improve the safety and well being of residents.
The inquiry will take a couple of years and a final report will be delivered to the Attorney General by July 31st 2019.
In a press release Attorney General Yasir Naqvi says they hope this inquiry will make sure we don't have another case like Elizabeth Wettlaufer.
"What happened to the victims and their families in southwestern Ontario was a tragedy. This inquiry will help provide answers to those affected and ensure something like this never happens again. Our parents and grandparents deserve to live in comfort, with access to the best care possible and we want to assure the public that Ontario's 78,000 long-term care residents are safe in their homes. Justice Gillese’s recommendations will help ensure that loved ones in long-term care homes continue to be safe and secure."
Minister of Health and Long-Term Care Dr. Eric Hoskins says they expect answers.
"I want to reaffirm my deepest sympathies to the families affected by this tragic situation. The safety, quality of care and quality of life of Ontario’s long-term care residents continues to be our government’s priority. This inquiry will bring critical answers that will allow our government to further ensure the safety and security of long-term care residents."
Justice Gillese says she is ready to get to work.
"I am honoured to have been chosen to head this very important Inquiry dealing with matters that affect the lives of all those in long term care homes in Ontario. My team and I will do our utmost to determine how these events could occur and to make recommendations so that the tragedies of the past are not repeated in the future."