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March 26, 2014
County Council accepts Woodingford Lodge Service Review recommendations
Year-long service review recommends status quo while continuing to advocate for regulatory reform moving forward

County Council accepted recommendations from the Woodingford Lodge Service Review this evening that propose maintaining all three sites of the long-term care home, while continuing to advocate for regulatory reform that would give municipalities greater control in how they deliver long-term care, including the ability to “opt out” of providing it.

 

The Woodingford Lodge service review was approved by Council in February 2013 to find ways to reduce the tax levy for long-term care through operational savings, as well as to explore new ways of providing the service, including outsourcing, reducing to a single site, and other options.

 

The review also took into consideration the status of long-term care beds in Oxford County, particularly in light of the transfer of 80 private long-term care beds out of Oxford County with the planned closing of the Bonnie Brae home in Tavistock

 

The review affirmed Woodingford Lodge’s commitment to quality care for its residents but clearly noted the cost of providing the service exceeds provincial funding envelopes. After weighing the financial, regulatory and social impacts of each option, the review concluded that only the “status quo” option provides Council with an ability to influence the number of long-term beds in our community, given the expected consolidation of long-term care beds and the current regulatory framework governing long-term care in Ontario.

 

The Committee also highlighted opportunities to explore further partnerships with Tillsonburg District Memorial Hospital and Alexandra Hospital at Woodingford’s Tillsonburg and Ingersoll sites, and concluded that provincial regulatory reform is essential for municipalities to achieve further sustainable cost reductions in the future.

 

Specific regulatory reforms the Oxford County would pursue include:

  • allowing municipalities to opt out of providing long-term care, a service they are required to offer under current legislation;
  • offering municipalities greater flexibility in some operating decisions;
  • the ability to influence how long-term care beds are consolidated in a community; and
  • appropriate funding levels to support municipal long-term care.

 

Council’s endorsement of the service review recommendations take effect immediately, with the County Warden to submit correspondence in the coming weeks to the Premier of Ontario, the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care and member municipalities of the Western Ontario Wardens Caucus.

 

For more information about the Woodingford Lodge service review, visit www.oxfordcounty.ca/woodingford.

 

 

Quotes

 

“The review of Woodingford’s operations required us to act in the best interest of our community. This involved weighing a number of factors, including impact on health care in our community, our ability to make effective changes given our current regulatory constraints and, at the end of the day, the care of some of the most vulnerable members of our population. The review also confirmed for us that the status quo isn’t an option we can pursue indefinitely: we need the Province’s help through regulatory reform to better manage the costs of providing municipal long-term care when these costs are only expected to increase.”

   - Warden Don McKay, County of Oxford

 

“The service review affirmed the excellent work of our staff and the degree to which our residents feel well cared for at Woodingford. Council’s acceptance of the recommendations has given us a clearer picture of our immediate future, allowing us to focus on providing excellent and compassionate care.”

  - Corrie Fransen, Director, Woodingford Lodge, County of Oxford

 

 

Media contact

 

Tommasina Conte | Strategic Communication & Engagement          

519.539.9800, ext. 3503 | tconte@oxfordcounty.ca 

 

 

About Oxford County

 

Located in the heart of southwestern Ontario, Oxford County is set among rolling hills and farmland and boasts a rapidly expanding business sector. The County offers a thriving local arts, culture and culinary community; scenic trails, conservation parks and natural areas; and a choice location at the crossroads of Highways 401 and 403. Oxford County has a population of approximately 106,000 people across eight municipalities that are “growing stronger together” through a partnership-oriented, two-tier governance structure incorporated as the County of Oxford. The regional seat for the County of Oxford is in Woodstock. Visit www.oxfordcounty.ca or follow us at twitter.com/oxfordcounty