Addressing Fears of Reprisal in City Long-Term Care Homes

3 July 2020

We were concerned that fear of reprisal is known to be a systemic issue across long-term care generally, not just within the City of Toronto. We started an Enquiry to explore this issue. We met with the management team at the City’s new Senior Services & Long-Term Care division to discuss the information it provides to the public about how to make complaints. Specifically, we wanted to find out how it could be improved to address fear of reprisal and also confusion about who can review complaints about long-term care.

The City responded very positively. They promptly agreed to update the poster it places in all longterm care homes. The poster now clearly states “No resident of a City of Toronto long-term care home will ever experience any adverse consequence because they—or someone acting on their behalf—raised a question, concern or complaint.” It also clearly refers to both the Ministry of Long-Term Care and Ombudsman Toronto and explains how and when to make a complaint to each. The City also pledged to train all staff on the fear of reprisal and how to address it.