The Florentine long-term care home in Merritt. (Assisted Living Centre photo)

The Florentine long-term care home in Merritt. (Assisted Living Centre photo)

Unmet care standards spark leadership overhaul at Merritt care home: Interior Health

‘We have and will continue to put the care and safety of seniors first before any other consideration’

Interior Health (IH) has appointed an administrator to run a Merritt care home after inspections determined the operator “was unable to meet the legislated standard of care for residents.”

The health authority’s board of directors decided to implement new leadership at the Florentine on a recommendation from medical health officer Dr. Carol Fenton.

“We have and will continue to put the care and safety of seniors first before any other consideration, which is what is happening here,” said Fenton.

According to the health authority, the Florentine faces ongoing challenges with its leadership, planning, staff education and training, and reporting.

IH’s chief medical health officer Dr. Albert de Villiers said appointing a new administrator was the “last resort solution” to ensure people get the standard of care they require.

“I am confident that with the appointment of Matt Renfrew as administrator, Interior Health will be able to stabilize The Florentine’s operations and set it down a path towards improved conditions for its residents, staff and leadership alike,” he said.

Matt Renfrew, who has managed the Overlander long-term care home in Kamloops since 2013, will take over the Florentine’s operations for the next four months. He also serves as IH’s interim director of clinical operations for community seniors care.

The Florentine is a privately-owned long-term care home with 20 independently funded beds. The facility’s assisted living section falls under the jurisdiction of the Assisted Living Registrar and is not subject to the administration change of the long-term care operations.

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