Statement from Minister Bernard – Incident at Quest

This is a very difficult situation for the families who are involved – as well as the staff of Quest -- and my thoughts and prayers remain with them during this difficult time. I wish to once again extend my sincere condolences to the family of Mr. Longphee.

The residents of Quest require the highest level of support. Each individual has extremely complex and unique health and behavorial conditions and can pose a risk to themselves or others. The potential for aggressive behaviour is always possible no matter where they live or how many safety protocols are in place. They need and deserve our understanding, our compassion and our support.

Because this incident involved a death, the investigation was conducted by the police, and we accept their findings. I wish to add that our Protection for Persons in Care investigation into the initial incident has also concluded. Its focus was solely on the initial contact between the two individuals which occurred on May 11 and was not on the death. The findings concluded that there was a physical contact between the two residents. Both residents were in a hallway with staff, and as they were passing, one pushed the other. Staff, were following protocol regarding provision of care and safety at the time of the incident. This was a tragic accident without intent to harm and, therefore, no directives will be issued related to the incident in the hallway.

Those who care for persons with complex needs – whether it is parents, other family members or professional caregivers – can’t always predict or control the behaviour of persons with the most complex conditions. Our role is to ensure that caregivers in licensed facilities are highly trained to mitigate the risk that these individuals will harm themselves or others.

And we know that families with loved ones living at Quest want assurances. So I am pleased to say that Quest will be conducting a best practice review of their operations. As the licensor and funder of this facility, we will work with Quest to ensure the services they provide are of the highest quality. My department will work with Quest as they develop the scope of work, we will pay for the review, and most importantly we will support them in addressing any recommendations. Because government, the families, staff and all Nova Scotians want to know that everything that can be done is being done to ensure that those living at Quest continue to receive the best care possible.