In response to the nursing home murders in Oostrozebeke, the Vooruit party examined the inspection reports of no fewer than 100 residential care centers throughout Flanders. What seems? More than 1 in 2 rest homes is given a heavy burden in the field of medication policy. However, it was precisely this same failing policy that turned out to be the reason why there were so many victims in Oostrozebeke. Reasons enough for Vooruit to step up. “Get in before it’s too late!”
When the investigators invaded Rozenberg, the residential care center in Oostrozebeke, in 2021, they found administrative chaos. Medication records were poorly kept or not kept up at all. It was not clear who had given which medication to whom at what time. Perhaps that is the reason why one and a half years after the start of the judicial investigation, no perpetrator has yet been found. In addition to the investigators, the Healthcare Inspectorate also identified the same problem in Oostrozebeke. Not only when it invaded the rest home last week, but also in 2011, 2014 and 2018. And yet nothing happened. How is that possible?
If you know how much older people depend on medication, that is a very dangerous and worrying picture of the retirement homes. It also opens the door for people with bad intentions
Following the events in Oostrozebeke, the Vooruit screened no fewer than 100 residential care centers in Flanders. Twenty nursing homes per province. This shows that there are more nursing homes that do not have their medication policy in order. This concerns 52 percent of the rest home, according to the sample. “We were stunned by the results,” explains Hannes Anaf, Flemish MP for Vooruit. “More than half of the residential care centers showed shortages of medication. To be clear: this is not about trivialities such as the temperature of the refrigerator in which the medication is stored, but about really serious shortcomings.” For example, Anaf concluded from the inspection reports that in those cases it is often not known who has received which medication. “If you know how much older people depend on medication, that is a very dangerous and worrying picture of the retirement homes. It also opens the door for people with bad intentions.”
According to Vooruit, it is simple: we simply have to intervene more vigorously. “The Healthcare Inspectorate determines the shortcomings, but nothing is done about it after that. Residential care centers are very rarely sanctioned. An acknowledgment is almost never revoked. Why not? There are residential care centers that have been stringing together the negative reports for years. Then you have to dare to say: this is where it ends. We need to be much stricter about the quality of care for our elderly population. Act before it’s too late!”
Minister of Welfare Hilde Crevits (CD&V) is not surprised by the high figure. “I myself am having data collected by my services, and I thought the figure would be higher.” According to Crevits, things have indeed changed. “The inspection reports have been put online since the end of this year so that everyone can monitor the quality of care, we will now make sure that those reports are even more readable.” Although Crevits also points out the responsibility of the residential care centers themselves: “It is ultimately the institutions themselves that are responsible. It is primarily their responsibility to adjust their policy.”
Even now that there is an investigation into three murders involving insulin in a retirement home: Care Inspectorate finds that administering medication is not properly registered (+)
Nurse (32) was visited by investigators and was questioned for eight hours: “I can also see that the timeline makes me suspicious. But that is unfortunately an unfortunate coincidence” (+)
Undercover in Oostrozebeke rest home: even after murders, medication is just for grabs (+)
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