VICTORIA -- For the third time this year, Island Health has appointed a new administrator to oversee operations at a privately operated seniors home on Vancouver Island following complaints from residents' families and the Hospital Employees' Union.

The complaints led Island Health to launch an investigation into Selkirk Seniors Village, which concluded that a new administrator should be appointed to ensure conditions at the facility were up to provincial standards.

"Island Health has a responsibility to ensure seniors living in long-term care homes are receiving safe and dignified care," said Leah Hollins, Island Health board chair in a news release Thursday.

The investigation found that the Chinese-owned operating group, Retirement Concepts, was lacking sufficient staff and overall cleanliness, and was not responding to concerns quickly enough.

The Island Health investigation marks the third time a home operated by Retirement Concepts on Vancouver Island has been placed under review. Earlier this year, Island Health appointed a new administrator to oversee the Nanaimo Seniors Village and the Comox Valley Seniors Village for similar concerns that plague the Selkirk Seniors Village.

“The thorough investigation by the independent licensing program has given Island Health detailed insight into the operator’s failures at this site,” said Mark Blandford, Island Health's executive director of primary care and seniors health.

"Island Health will work with the administrator and operator to understand and correct the causes of these issues and develop sustainable plans to return the care delivered to legislated and contracted standards."

Island Health says it has identified five key areas to focus on while overseeing the Victoria seniors centre:

  • Staff recruitment and retention strategies
  • Mentoring to support training and education of staff
  • Oversight to ensure appropriate care plans for residents
  • Support in the creation of effective and achievable health and safety plans
  • Ensuring compliance with legislated standards of care

Island Health has appointed Susan Abermann to act as the new administrator for the Selkirk Seniors Village for a period of six months. Abermann has 25 year of experience in seniors care, and was previously appointed the temporary administrator for the Comox Valley Seniors Village and Nanaimo Seniors Village.

Selkirk Seniors Village houses 217 long-term care beds, 185 of which are publicly funded through Island Health.