Mon | May 17, 2021

Chances Rehab defying closure order

Published:Thursday | March 18, 2021 | 12:07 AMBryan Miller/Gleaner Writer

WESTERN BUREAU:

The Chances Rehabilitation Centre in Hanover, which was ordered closed by the Hanover Health Department (HHD) in late January, is reportedly still in operation. However, the operators have switched location, moving to an 11-bedroom house in one of the communities they formerly operated from.

Chances Rehabilitation Centre is one of two privately owned health facilities that moved from St James to Hanover in 2020 and are operating without the required authorisation of the Hanover Municipal Corporation (HMC) and the HHD. The second facility is the People’s Nursing Home, located in Dias.

At the March monthly meeting of the HMC, Devon Brown, councillor for the Hopewell division, was taken by surprise when he enquired about the status of the Chances Rehabilitation Centre and was told that the facility is still in operation, but at another location, which is contrary to the HHD’s closure order.

In explaining what had transpired since the closure notice was served on the two centres, Patricia Hall-Patterson, chief public health inspector for Hanover, confirmed that the Chances outfit had relocated to another section of the parish and was still in operation.

“The Chances Rehabilitation Centre and the People’s Nursing Home still exist in the parish. Chances Rehab has relocated from Chigwell, and all their clients are now in Rejoin district. They are seeking another opportunity to relocate to somewhere else,” explained Hall-Patterson.

“People’s (Rehab) was served a notice on March 5 for 28 days to improve to a state of compliance,” added Hall-Patterson, who also noted that the HHD is still working with both facilities and are closely monitoring them, albeit admitting that their status remains “illegal”.

WRONG AESTHETICS

Hall-Patterson’s explanation did not sit well with the seemingly surprised Brown, who was somewhat confused that the facilities, which were supposed to be closed, were not only still opened, but were being monitored by the HHD.

“The whole aesthetics is wrong,” said Brown, speaking specifically to the Chances facility which has 37 clients, plus workers occupying an 11-bedroom building with not enough bathroom and kitchen facilities.

Dr Kaushal Singh, the medical officer of health for Hanover, made no bones about his views on the two rehabilitation centres, declaring them totally illegal.

“My answer is very much straightforward. You are operating illegally in this parish, and if anything happens then you will be certainly responsible,” said Singh, who revealed he has been receiving calls from persons in the parish, asking him to be lenient on the facilities.

Faced with existing non-compliance, Singh said the next step open to the HHD is to seek a legal solution through the court. He said that until such an action is taken, from a humanistic point of view, the HHD will still continue to closely monitor the facilities.

After the operation at Chances came to the attention of the HMC, several discussions were had with the operators in regard to deficiencies seen, and recommendations were made as to the steps that should be taken to meet the various legal regulations. However, despite being given adequate time to address the recommendations, nothing was done, hence the closure notice.