Long-term Care Communication Bulletin | Long-Term Care Physicians and Nurse Practitioners | April 17

I want to thank all LTC physicians and Nurse Practitioners for your ability to rise to the challenge of caring for our vulnerable LTC residents during this pandemic crisis.   I recognize that many of you have been working flat out for the last 6 weeks to protect your patients.  The response from LTC physicians/NPs, to the myriad of changes which keep residents safe from COVID-19, has been phenomenal.  We have had no COVID-19 cases in Island Health LTC homes to date; physician/NP feedback, cooperation and implementation of the required changes in LTC has helped us to maintain this status. 

Not only have LTC physicians/NPs looked after our residents under these trying circumstances, you’ve provided kind and caring words of encouragement to our LTC facility staff.  Our LTC staff are looking after our patients without the usual family caregiving and visits, and without group events and visiting clinician expertise. They are doing an amazing job and treat their residents like a family member. On a daily basis, they go above and beyond to provide care and TLC to our residents.

Despite our collective change fatigue and the uncertainty in our professional and personal lives, physicians and NPs continue to provide needed medical care with skill and grace. Our LTC residents are in good hands.  

Just a few updates this week:

  1. Latest PPE update:  As per April 15 this information was provided in the COVID-19 update from Dr. Richard Stanwick, Chief Medical Health Officer and Kathy MacNeil

Effective immediately, we advise all staff, medical staff and contracted staff with direct contact with patients, clients and residents to wear a surgical/procedural mask during their shift

This means that any essential physician visit to a nursing home would require the physician to wear a mask and wear full PPE for droplet precautions if consulting on a COVID-19 suspected or infected resident.  Please see the attached Island Health memo.

  1. COVID-19 Cohort sites

As per my last memo, we are moving forward with securing and staffing LTC cohort sites in the North, Mid and South Island that will accept infected LTC residents. Until those LTC cohort sites are operational, COVID+ residents will be moved to acute care cohort units in either RJH, NRGH or CVH.  Our letter to families to apprise them of the plan to move COVID-19 infected residents out of their LTC home will be sent out next week. 

  1. Grand Rounds April 16, 2020 by Dr. Gordon Wood  appended for your interest
  1. Dr. Stacey Macdonald forwarded this excellent resource on how to care for residents who wander and who require physical isolation.

I am very proud of the work that we have collectively accomplished in such a short period of time.  Please reach out to me if you have questions or concerns. 


Dr. Margaret Manville, FCFP, Care of the Elderly

Medical Director Long Term Care, Island Health