CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. - Plans to close a number of beds at a private nursing home in Charlottetown have been put on hold pending the outcome of an arbitration decision.
Earlier this fall, the Atlantic Baptist Home announced it would close 41 of its 116 long-term care beds, including 31 beds in its dementia unit, citing insufficient government funding to continue operating at its current level.
Since that time, an arbitration proceeding was held to settle an ongoing contract negotiation between the province and the Private Nursing Home Association, which represents all nine of the private nursing homes in the province.
Andrew MacDougall, director of long-term care for Health P.E.I., says Atlantic Baptist Home has decided to await the outcome of the arbitration process before deciding whether to go ahead with its planned bed closures.
“They want to see how that plays out,” MacDougall said.
Previously, the health department indicated it would work to find alternate homes for affected patients within 90 days. That work has also been suspended.
If the nursing home does eventually decide to go ahead with closing beds, the 90 days will restart, MacDougall said.
“They’re driving the bus, for lack of a better word, on this issue,” he said.
“They have the right within the service agreement to give that 90-day notice, but they’ve indicated they’re holding that decision in abeyance pending the outcome of that (arbitration) process, and should they determine to continue down that road, we would expect the 90-day period would then start at that point.”
Arbitration hearings between the province and the Private Nursing Home Association were held last week and are now complete.
A decision could come anytime. But MacDougall says officials are not expecting any word before the New Year.