On May 14, 2020, a particular ministerial directive (consigne ministérielle) was issued by the Minister of Seniors and Caregivers to those in the health and social services system. As a result, the Office of the Commissioner was given the responsibility by the President and Chief Executive Officer of CIUSSS West-Central Montreal to support significant family caregivers in gaining direct access their loved ones in the area served by the CIUSSS. If you are a significant caregiver and are denied access to your loved one, you can contact the Office of the Commissioner to request assistance.
The mandate of the significant caregiver has obligations that differ from the other mandates of the Office of the Commissioner. During a routine complaint or request for assistance, the Commissioner’s representative tries to establish the validity of the information provided by the user. It does so by contacting the relevant department or facility and by promoting communication between those who are involved. Then it examines the situation and renders a conclusion that is aimed at improving the quality of services.
By contrast, the caregiver’s mandate is defined by ministerial guidelines, as well as by directives from Public Health, that apply only during the COVID-19 pandemic. Caregivers contact the Office of the Commissioner when they think they should have access, but access has been denied to them. The role of the Caregiver Liaison Officer is to:
- establish communication with the appropriate facility to determine whether its refusal of access is properly based on a provincial directive
- determine whether the caregiver in question truly qualifies as a significant caregiver and has complied with the facility’s public health policies or rules