Increase in Security for Canadian Psychiatric Hospital
Colony Farm Forensic Psychiatric Hospital is receiving increased security, staffing, and training, following violence against staff.
- By Jordan Lutke
- September 24, 2018
The Forensic Psychiatric Hospital of Coquitlam, British Columbia is seeing changes aimed at improving worker safety, after a rash of patient-on-staff violence.
The Provincial Health Services Authority announced increased staffing levels and expanded security at the facility, which treats those who have been found either unfit to stand trial or not criminally responsible for a crime due to mental illness.
The B.C. Nurses Union, which represents the nurses working at the hospital, has pushed for such security expansion for months. In August, two nurses had to seek ER treatment after vicious attacks by patients, causing them both severe wounds.
Christine Sorensen, the president of the B.C. Nurses Union, said she was cautiously optimistic about the decision to increase security, but wondered why these changes took so long, noting that nurses are regularly injured at the facility “at one point over the summer almost weekly.”
Earlier in September, four hospital staff were injured in a violent attack that sent one of them to the hospital with severe injuries. Though administration members state the issue is being addressed, the large B.C. Government and Service Employees’ Union has criticized the handling of worker safety, even going so far as to call it the treatment of workers at the Coquitlam facility “neglectful.”
Two additional security personnel and 12 clinical staff are to be hired immediately, with further measures to be considered later. The cost of these security enhancements have yet to be finalized.
Jordan Lutke is an intern with 1105 Media.