Staff, supplies lacking at Résidence Herron before the pandemic, Quebec coroner hears

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MONTREAL — A nurse told a Quebec coroner's inquest today that a Montreal-area long-term care home where dozens of people died during the first wave of COVID-19 was understaffed and lacked proper equipment even before the pandemic hit.

Véronique Bossé, who worked as director of care at Résidence Herron from September 2019 to January 2020, said on Monday there were not enough washcloths and mattress protectors for all the residents when she began work.

Bossé told coroner Géhane Kamel that there was also a lack of staff before the pandemic.

She said the ratio of health-care workers to patients was inadequate, and the residence was dealing with frequent staff turnover.

Bossé said the lack of employees was a result of low wages, adding that patient attendants in the residence were earning $12 an hour in 2019.

The coroner inquiry's mandate is to investigate 53 deaths at six long-term care homes and one seniors residence.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on Sept. 13, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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