Sunnycrest Nursing Home in Whitby to shut down in April

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Published February 17, 2022 at 4:54 pm

Frank Gunn, Canadian Press

Sunnycrest Nursing Home in Whitby, the site of multiple outbreaks in 2020 that left 34 residents dead and the subject of a scathing report in November of that year, is being shut down, effective this April.

Lakeridge Health took over the operation of the home on December 3, 2020, following the release of a ‘critical incident system’ inspection report that declared there was “actual harm to the residents” because of inconsistent infection prevention and control practices, lack of access to personal protection equipment and high-risk medication being administered two hours late, among other transgressions.

Lakeridge Health was issued a Temporary Emergency Licence at the time, approved by the Ministry of Long-Term Care, which carried an expiration date of April 13, 2022.

“For this reason, we have proactively initiated the process of finding appropriate new homes for residents and are providing notice to staff,” Lakeridge Health declared in a press release. “It is important to note that Sunnycrest will stay open until we have found a new placement for every resident.:

The official closing date will depend on how long it takes to get every resident a new home, with many of them expected to be moved to the new long-term care home adjacent to Ajax-Pickering Hospital.

Lakeridge Health has established a Transition Support Team to ensure residents are relocated to a home that is “appropriate to their needs and in accordance with their preferences.”

“Sunnycrest has been an important part of the community for decades and this news will be difficult for some to hear (but) we are committed to working through this transition with residents and families and to provide as much guidance as possible during this time.”

Sunnycrest, which is housed in the historic Lick House on Dundas St. E, has been operating as a nursing home since 1967. It was one of the hardest hit facilities during the first year of the pandemic and at one time in November 2020 – just before the inspection report was released, they had 86 patients isolating with the virus in a facility that only has 136 beds.

Since then Lakeridge Health, in collaboration with Durham Region Public Health and other community partners, got the COVID outbreak under control and put in place a series of processes and protocols to provide residents with proper care.

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