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by Rhonda Spivak, January 13, 2012

One of the things that Jan Currie, acting CEO of the Simkin Centre hopefully will address very soon, if she hasn't already, is the issue of narcotics control at the Simkin Centre.
Here's some of what the 26 Standards Review found in regard to narcotics:
"Medication carts appear to be universally in need of replacement. Tops are broken, and stained, locks and keys do not work, and drawers are broken. The med room was found opened and unattended on Aug 15, 2011 at 1830. Narcotics are stored in a locked cupboard. However, some carts were not locked in the medication room and narcotics in the pouch packs were then not double locked. Narcotic count did not occur weekly in all units."
The Winnipeg Jewish Review has had an opportunity to show this part of the report to a couple of doctors who raised their eyebrows on reading this. There are very strict guidelines at hospitals for ensuring that narcotics can never fall into hands that they weren't intended for. In fact there is legislation in this regard. Healthcare Canada also sets very strict standards about the handling of "controlled substances."
Although the Simkin Centre technically passed the standard regarding narcotics, they certainly did not pass this one with flying colours--( one has to wonder what they would have to do to fail this standard.)
One health care professional from out of province wrote to the Winnipeg Jewish Review as to how narcotics are handled at their  nursing home: "Narcotics are packaged on separate blister pack cards. The narcotics have to be double locked – in our case the medication cart is #1 and the medication room is #2. The narcotics have to be counted by 2 people at shift change."
In any event, hopefully this issue all will be rectified shortly, if it hasn't been already, under  acting CEO Jan Currie.
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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

Opinions expressed in letters to the editor or articles by contributing writers are not necessarily endorsed by Winnipeg Jewish Review.