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Long-term care residents at health centre in Twillingate located to other areas due to drafty windows

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TWILLINGATE, NL – Harry Cooper makes multiple trips to the Notre Dame Bay Memorial Health Centre in Twillingate each day to visit his wife in long-term care.

He has done so over the past three and a half years, so he knows the ins and outs of that area of the hospital. He was also a former hospital board member.

This week he brought attention to the fact that some residents of the long-term care facility had to be moved out of their rooms due to cold seeping in from the windows.
He said patients were covered in blankets and coats as they were moved from their rooms, most in their beds, to the conference room and main lounge.

Cooper said the windows at the front of the building were replaced this past summer. His wife lives across the hall facing the back of the building and her windows had not been replaced. He said there is a little draft in her room, but nothing that would constitute her having to vacate her room.

Cooper said you can feel the cold coming from the front rooms in the hallway.

“It’s not just a draft, you can feel the wind coming in from those windows,” he said. “If we got weather like we had last year it wouldn’t just be a draft, I would expect you would see snow coming in.”

Cooper sends a “big bouquet” to the nurses and staff who worked to relocate the residents. He also noted this situation has added to the nurses’ duties as they still have the same number of patients spread out over a larger area in their care.

“They’ve handled this in a professional way,” he said. “At the best of times they are short-staffed and could certainly use about two to four more nurses.
“They are doing their best in this situation.”

Cooper also noted that changes to the heating system a few years back have resulted in a system that is not as effective in producing heat, in his opinion.

In information provided via email by Central Health it was stated, “On December 27th, Central Health temporarily moved some residents from their rooms in Notre Dame Bay Memorial Health Centre in Twillingate to other areas in the facility. Some issues with recent window replacements, a tripped heating pump, and extreme weather conditions (winds) resulted in below ideal temperatures in some resident rooms. The tripped heating pump was corrected on December 27th, and residents were moved back to their rooms. In addition, corrective work was done to address window drafts. During the evening of January 7th, temperatures in some resident rooms dropped again, and twelve residents were moved from their rooms to other areas of the facility.

“The window drafts and affected room temperatures were related to a recent window replacement at the facility. Central Health is working with the contractor to address the issue of patient comfort with immediate remediation work on the windows. Work has been completed on six of the affected rooms, and residents returned to those rooms on Thursday, January 11th. Work is continuing on the remaining six affected rooms, and we anticipate residents will be back in those rooms early next week.

“Further mitigation will be required in the spring, when weather permits. The facility is heated by a large hot water boiler system. The affected area represents less than 15% of the facility. No significant impact to heating costs is anticipated.

“In addition, thermal imaging scans on the building identified some areas for improved insulation – not uncommon with buildings of this age. A tender will be issued for that future work.

“We recognize that this disruption has been inconvenient and upsetting to both residents and their families, and we apologize for this inconvenience. Our focus, as always, remains on quality care for our residents. Additional nursing and housekeeping staff helped provide additional support.”

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