Getting Someone the Help They Need

6 July 2020


After being hospitalized, Ms. D had been without stable Personal Support Worker (PSW) assistance for over two months, despite requiring care. The City’s Seniors and Long-Term Care division’s (formerly Long Term Care Homes and Services division) Homemakers & Nurses Services department (HMNS) had contracted an agency to provide help to Ms. D. The agency had several staffing, scheduling and communication issues, and was not providing adequate service. Despite the agency’s assurances that they would send a PSW to help Ms. D, on the day of a scheduled appointment, the PSW would not show up. This became a pattern: Ms. D would call, make an appointment, and wait for her PSW to arrive. When they did not, she would call again to complain and be assured they would send someone else.

All names are changed to protect the privacy of complainants.

Ms. D complained to Ombudsman Toronto; we contacted HMNS to find out what was going on. They confirmed that they had been having similar issues with the agency in other cases and committed to finding a resolution for Ms. D. HMNS then told us they had set up an action plan with the agency to resolve the complaints. This included a review of their current processes for entering client information into their system, staffing and scheduling of homemakers, and better communication of cancelled visits with HMNS and its clients. In addition, the agency committed to making up the missed appointments with Ms. D.

Ms. D agreed to stay with the agency for a further trial period of two weeks. If she remained unsatisfied, HMNS assured us she would be offered a new agency. Ms. D was satisfied with this arrangement.