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Province investigating alleged substandard care case at Shannex facility

The alleged substandard care occurred at the Parkstone Enhanced Care facility in Clayton Park. (

Connie Brown died overnight Tuesday and her daughter Sue Brown is suing the company that operates the nursing home, Shannex. The lawsuit was filed in June.

Doubts about care began in 2013

Brown says her mother was bright and alert, but needed extra care due to multiple sclerosis and paralysis from the chest down. She says she started having doubts about her mother's care in 2013.

Brown says like many people with multiple sclerosis, her mother suffered from bowel issues.

In a statement of claim filed at Nova Scotia Supreme Court, Brown says Shannex caregivers unilaterally reduced the dosage of a laxative a doctor prescribed her mother.

Brown says she was never informed of the change.

"My mother got totally constipated. And they never told me they cut her meds down. If they had have told me, I would have insisted they put it back, and I certainly would have discussed it with a doctor. I wouldn't have allowed it to happen," she told CBC News.

The statement of claim alleges those changes had serious health consequences.

'Only objective is to pursue better care'

"They didn't give her any July 2nd, they didn't give her any July 3. They gave it to her July 4th, and [she] was rushed to hospital July 5th and almost died that day," Brown told CBC News.

The lawsuit also alleges caregivers did not properly secure, change or clean Connie Brown's urinary catheter, causing her pain and suffering.

Nova Scotia has legislation and investigators tasked with responding to these types of complaints. Brown says her mother's case was twice rejected by the Protections of Person in Care team.

"I was dumbfounded. When I talked to the Protection of People in Care the second, I told them I had the evidence and they didn't want to hear it. They didn't want to hear it," said Brown.

She says it was only once she hired a lawyer to complain on her behalf that she started to get results.

Government response

On Wednesday, a spokesperson for the province's health department said that after a lengthy review of the case, an investigation was launched and is currently underway.

The spokesperson said that due to the lawsuit and ongoing investigation, he wasn't able to speak to the specifics of the case.

Sue Brown is also claiming compensation for lost wages stemming from the stress around her mother's care.

None of these claims has been tested in court.

Brown says she tried countless times to work out these issues directly with Shannex, but felt she needed a lawyer to get action.

Brown's lawyer, Patrick Eagan of the firm Landry McGillivray, says the lawsuit is not about money.

"It's not a significant damage claim. There really is no money in it for anybody. The only objective is to pursue better care," he said.

Brown says she hopes her lawsuit will improve nursing care for other residents of the Parkstone Enhanced Care facility.

"I lost the battle for my mother. But damn it, I'm going to keep going for the rest of the poor residents in there," she said.

Shannex's response

Heather Hanson is the director of communications and community relations for Shannex Incorporated.

She says the company has reviewed the Brown's statement of claim and says Parkstone Enhanced Care provided a high quality of care in the circumstances.

Hanson says Shannex intends to defend its position and will be filing a statement of defence in court.

Story Source: The above story is based on materials provided by CBCNEWS
Note: Materials may be edited for content and length


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