The CHSLD Herron was in need of help

Le CHSLD Herron avait besoin d’aide

“– Is that employees are returned to work ? – No. We need your help. “

Personnel missing or in quarantine, fear among employees, lack of the necessary equipment ; all the conditions were met for a crisis to take place at the CHSLD Herron, Dorval, where more than thirty elders have died in the last few weeks.

A series of e-mails and text messages obtained by our Bureau of investigation to help you better understand the storm in which were immersed the leaders of the accommodation centre long-term care (CHSLD) and the center for integrated health and social services (CIUSSS) of the West Island of Montréal, at the time of the trusteeship of the institution, on march 29.

On the same day, two patients died. Since, the testimonies of the elders kept in atrocious conditions have multiplied.

Who is telling the truth ?

Two versions are clashing : that of the CIUSSS, which says that the leaders of the CHSLD are not assured that the care was adequate and that they have refused to provide information when the CIUSSS has taken control of the facility.

For their part, the leaders of the NURSING homes support that it is the CIUSSS that has not worked.

The owner Katherine Chowieri went there of serious allegations concerning actions of protection which would not have been met by the team of CIUSSS, in a letter sent to the minister of Health on 9 April and unveiled on Sunday by our Bureau of investigation.

To make light, three investigations are underway : a criminal investigation by the Montreal police, a coroner and another by the ministry of Health.

1. Lack of employees

On Sunday, 29 march, in the morning, Samantha Chowieri, one of the leaders of the CHSLD, details in a text message, the number of employees missing.

It’s missing at least five orderlies, two nursing assistants and two nurses. This will be even worse in the evening, does it.

2. Nobody wants to come


Later in the day, the situation has deteriorated.

“We no longer have nurses or nursing assistants available this evening. PLEASE, give me a call because we are no longer available to provide the necessary services. None of the agencies [of placement of medical staff] do not want to come, ” says Ms. Chowieri in another text message.

The CIUSSS promises that the reinforcement arrives, and it even suggests that employees who recently retired could lend a hand.

3. “Are you there ? “

The reinforcement sent by Brigitte Auger, director of the program of support to the autonomy of the elderly in the CIUSSS, has encountered closed doors.

“Someone is here ! My deputy director. There is no answer [to the door], ” she wrote to Mrs. Chowieri.

“Are you there ?! “impatient-does it then.

4. Employees in quarantine

In an email received at CIUSSS the next day, Samantha Chowieri explain the lack of staff is caused in part by the fact that employees are in quarantine.

“Several employees were unable to return to the NURSING homes, because they have been in contact with users with positive COVID-19,” she said.

The manager believes that the new ministerial directive to reduce the length of quarantine of 14 days up to 7 days for the employees of the health will improve the situation.

“This pandemic is a gray area and fear for all. There was a great fear in the staff, ” she wrote.

5. Lack of masks


To add to the crisis, the CHSLD lack of protective equipment.

Samantha Chowieri calls using the CIUSSS and even offers to go and retrieve the equipment.

Even a delivery of the CIUSSS made two days ago seems to have not been enough.

“Unfortunately, we lack the visors, jackets, masks,” lists the 29 march. However, there still remains enough of gloves.

The employee of the CIUSSS responds to these texts, offering to send material.

6. Guardianship

On march 29, in the evening, Lynne McVey, president and ceo of the CIUSSS, informs the management of the NURSING homes that the facility is now under guardianship, ” given the situation of the residents of the Maison Herron which have been abandoned today by your staff and sent in large numbers to the urgency of the Lakeshore general Hospital “.

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