Nova Scotia appoints expert panel to recommend ways to improve long-term care

The Nova Scotia government has appointed an expert panel to recommend ways to improve the province's long-term care facilities.

The decision by Health and Wellness Minister Randy Delorey comes in the wake of a series of media reports that have raised questions about the quality of care in these facilities.

Delorey issued a brief statement Wednesday saying the three-member panel will look into appropriate staffing and skill levels, and offer advice about the recruitment and retention of staff.

As well, their report will look into proper wound care, patient and worker safety, and the protection of vulnerable persons.

There are about 6,900 nursing home beds and 900 residential care beds in Nova Scotia that serve about 11,000 people each year.

The three-member panel includes: Janice Keefe, director of Mount Saint Vincent University's Nova Scotia Centre on Aging; Dr. Greg Archibald, a family doctor and head of Dalhousie University's Department of Family Medicine; and Cheryl Smith, a nurse practitioner and educator who focuses on dementia care.