On May 23, 2021 a panel of the Inquiry Committee approved a Consent Agreement between BCCNM and Victoria Weber of Victoria, to remediate practice issues related to her conduct and competence while working as the Senior Manager, Health Services and Education for the Garth Homer Society from 2016 to 2018. While responsible for a program overseeing five residences housing medically and developmentally complex clients, Ms. Weber was the subject of three separate complaints by clients' family members, one complaint made by a former employee of the Garth Homer Society, and two investigations initiated by BCCNM on its own motion. BCCNM conducted an extensive investigation into these matters.
As a result of the investigative process, the Inquiry Committee determined that Ms. Weber, in her role as Senior Manager, Health Services and Education, did not appropriately delegate, train, and orient unregulated care staff. When a client was exhibiting ongoing and concerning symptoms, she did not adequately assess the client, she did not adequately document her actions or directions to staff. In general, Ms. Weber's documentation practices did not meet BCCNM standards and she was unable to produce required records.
The Inquiry Committee determined that Ms. Weber restricted the ability of regulated staff to contact allied health professionals about their clients; she did not ensure that a client received medications that were ordered and did not ensure a client who suffered from occasional hypoxia had their oxygen order processed in a timely manner. The Inquiry Committee determined that Ms. Weber repeatedly asked care staff to take photographs of two clients with their personal phones and text her the photographs, to supplant in-person assessment, but failed to obtain informed and written consent for this type of photography or ensure her agency had appropriate policies in place to guide the use, storage, and disposal of photographic images as clinical information.
The Inquiry Committee determined that Ms. Weber dismissed some parental concerns as unwarranted. When parents and legal Representatives attempted to advocate for and provide information about their child, Ms. Weber did not honour their authority and effectively obstructed their access to their child, in part by enforcing rigid communication policies for parents and legal Representatives. The result of her actions was to prevent parents/Representatives from interacting with and advocating for their child. Further, her actions severely eroded trust between Ms. Weber/Garth Homer Society and the families, which had the effect of silencing the voice of the client in care, several of whom had significant cognitive delays and barriers to communication.
The Inquiry Committee determined that Ms. Weber characterized some of the families in a negative manner to staff, management, and other agencies, and suggested that three parent Representatives were acting contrary to the best interests of their child. In one instance, when a parent Representative revoked consent for residential care, she had the client, who had an IQ less than 70, sign the consent forms, in an effort to work around the client's legal Representative authority and responsibility. She did not ensure that another client had a Representative, Committee, or Guardian to consent to his health care.
Ms. Weber does not agree with every determination made by the Inquiry Committee but she admits that her conduct in relation to the four complaints and two Own Motion investigations into her nursing practice breached BCCNM's Professional and Practice Nursing Standards and constitutes unprofessional conduct within the meaning of the Health Professions Act.
Ms. Weber has voluntarily agreed to an 18-month suspension of her registration during which time she must complete learning coursework related to collaborative professional practice, documentation, and responsibility and accountability. Twelve months will be considered “time served" given that Ms. Weber been the subject of an interim suspension order pursuant to section 35 of the Act during the course of the investigation into her nursing practice. Upon a return to work, Ms. Weber is prohibited for 18 months from being the sole RN on duty, being in-charge, supervising students, independently developing care plans, and working as a case manager, nursing supervisor or educator. If she returns to work in a direct patient care position, she must complete at least 80 hours of orientation followed by a period of supervision of a minimum of six months. She must complete and follow a Learning Plan while under supervision and meet with a BCCNM Regulatory Practice Consultant to discuss her practice prior to any conditions being removed from her registration.
The Inquiry Committee is satisfied that the terms will protect the public.