In good care
Employee dismissals not related to accusations, says Milloy

Darrell Greer
Northern News Services

Rankin Inlet (Dec 15/99) - A Rankin Inlet group home has been given a clean bill of health following an investigation into charges of abuse at the facility.

The investigation was conducted by Dr. Keith Best, chief executive officer of the Keewatin Regional Health Board.

Care-giving services at the guest home are provided by Kivalliq Consulting and Management Training Services Ltd.

Accusations of physical abuse were contained in a formal complaint lodged by the home's former programs manager, Bob Vibert.

Best says he interviewed the entire staff of the guest home and its residents during a two-day period.

Although many of the home's residents aren't verbal, the CEO also had an interpreter present to repeat his questions in Inuktitut.

"There was very little feedback from most of the residents, except one or two, about what may or may not have happened," says Best.

"However, you could see there was an atmosphere of what I consider to be good care.

"There was no evidence at all to substantiate the allegations were true."

Best did tell Kivalliq News that two former employees at the home were dismissed since Vibert's allegations emerged and before he conducted his investigation.

"I'm told they (the dismissals) weren't necessarily triggered by the allegations," says Best.

"There was a kind of performance tracking process going on with these individuals.

"I believe one of the two may have yelled at a resident or been involved with one of the specific behaviours raised by Bob (Vibert)."

Group home general manager Sheila Milloy would not comment on the two dismissals other than a terse "NO" when asked by Kivalliq News if the dismissals were in any way related to Vibert's claims.

The only public comment Milloy would make was, "I am thankful to everyone in the community for their interest in the well-being of the clients."

Best says he did find some elements of truth in Vibert's claims during his investigation, but says they were isolated incidents.

"Yes, at some point, staff members did raise their voice or what might be seen as yelling at residents," says Best.

"It didn't come out as practice or something these people were engaged in as a way of helping others."

Best quickly dismissed Vibert's claims of mistakes in the dispensing of medication, saying the use of bubble packets make the type of mistakes described very unlikely.

"The bubble packet is designed for some medications and is organized in such a way -- Day 1, Day 2, and so on -- that it's easy to follow.

"You don't really need to be trained in the use of it other than being able to read."

Best says, in conclusion, he remains confident in the level of care being given at the adult group home.

"I can say what is not there, in the opinion, is any persistent inadequate or poor care patterns.