The Coalition of Persons with Disabilities-NL has been awaiting the results of the internal review undertaken by Eastern Health following the death of a young man during transfer from one site to another.
What we heard on the news was Eastern Health’s CEO state all policies were properly followed.
What we did not hear, but what may well have been said but not aired, was that the next step in this internal review should be to examine why the policy failed to keep the client safe during transfer.
The client’s family identified this young man as having a mental health crisis and intervention was called for to help everyone involved safely through the crisis. This issue holds the potential to become much more serious if other families of clients with confusion, dementia, brain injury or mental health issues, or the clients themselves, now view the health-care system as being unable to identify or meet their safety requirements during a crisis event.
This would severely limit options to receive the necessary intervention during a crisis.
The regional health authorities offer all kinds of health intervention services and one type of illness should be no more or less valued than another. Admittedly, the size of ground covered by each of our regional health authorities must be quite daunting, but administrators must anticipate some amount of transferring from one unit to another.
While policy is not normally made on one case, it is apparent here that patients with confusion, agitation, disorientation, or experiencing the potential for violence or self-harm from any vast array of conditions must be assured policy is broad enough to guarantee the safety of all persons who require transfers.
As an advocacy organization that looks for equity amongst all persons within this province, we ask that Eastern Health inform future potential users of their system what policy changes they will make to ensure such a terrible event becomes does not occur in the future.
Or do we need to find another method of transfer around sites within Newfoundland and Labrador?
Coalition of Persons with Disabilities-NL