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BC Nurses’ Union President Gayle Duteil demands immediate investigation and better security at psychiatric and forensic facilities

  • Health & Safety; News Release
Patient savagely attacks health care professional

A doctor was transferred ​​​to Kelowna General Hospital after being savagely attacked and left for dead by a patient on Friday night. ​

Nurses on the psychiatric unit at Penticton General Hospital said the patient calmly walked out of a closed door session and announced the staff member might be dead.

The victim was found unconscious and severely beaten. He is expected to survive.

BCNU President Gayle Duteil says the incident once again highlights the dangerous lack of security in BC’s psychiatric and forensic facilities.

“The health authorities aren’t providing basic safety for staff. Every day, nurses and other health care professionals put themselves on the line and risk being attacked on the job because of inadequate protection against violent patients. When will the health authorities start listening to nurses and provide security systems which could prevent this kind of dreadful attack?”

BCNU is demanding Interior Health launch an investigation and immediately provide:

• Personal alarms
• Security specifically assigned to psychiatric units
• Security cameras
• Assurances the patient will not be returned to the unit
• That if the patient is sent to another site, a risk assessment and safety plan must be put in place, along with additional trained staff and security prior to transfer

Duteil says BCNU has repeatedly demanded better protection for nurses and in the last year there have been several high profile attacks on nurses.

“Does someone have to die before the health authority starts providing basic safety measures such as personal alarms in forensic and psychiatric facilities?”


For more information contact:

Catherine Pope, BCNU Communications
604-313-7412 or  cpope@bcnu.org

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