The Forensiz Psychiatric Hospital at Colony Farm in Coquitlam. (physicaltherapy.med.ubc.ca)

Union calls for more security at Colony Farm hospital following staff injuries

BC Government Employees Union accuses employer at forensic psychiatric hospital of being ‘complicit’

The union representing workers at the forensic psychiatric hospital at Colony Farm in Coquitlam is accusing the employer of a “clear and willful pattern of neglect” after a series of recent assaults on staff.

The BC Government Employees’ Union said in a release Wednesday it has recorded 21 injuries to staff since May at the hospital, which treats people who are deemed unfit to stand trial or are found not criminally responsible because of mental illness.

“Workers are being assaulted while treating patients without risk assessments being done, with inadequate security protection,” BCGEU treasurer Paul Finch said in the release. “One could make the case that the employer is complicit in these attacks on hospital staff.”

The union said it has called for more security personnel in rooms when staff interact with potentially violent patients.

It said Dr. Connie Coniglio, the chief operating officer at BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services, has refused to bring in additional personnel because it could “increase patient anxiety and trigger violent incidents,” while citing a WorkSafeBC report in March stated more security staff does not cause violent outbreaks.

Black Press Media has reached out to the Ministry of Health for comment.

WorkSafeBC has issued 57 safety orders at the hospital and levied a $171,000 fine in the past five years, the release said, along with 102 inspection reports showing the employer’s failure to protect its workers.

The union is also asking the government to ensure the employer conduct risk assessments on patients and fill the funding gaps in risk assessments, such as self-defense training for staff.



laura.baziuk@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

How much does your city spend per person on snow removal?

Black Press Media compares 2018 ice and snow removal budgets of various Lower Mainland communities

B.C. BUDGET: Surplus $374 million after bailouts of BC Hydro, ICBC

Growth projected stronger in 2020, Finance Minister Carole James says

UPDATE: Chilliwack man arrested for Agassiz break and enters

Westin Ferguson, 19, faces charges relating to break and enters throughout Agassiz

Short closures on Agassiz-Rosedale Bridge during pier upgrades

The project comes before the major retrofit of the bridge, which has been in the works since 2017

Preliminary inquiry starts for Chilliwack woman charged in 2016 fatal hit-and-run

Linnea Labbee, 70, accused in Dec. 1, 2016 incident that killed 78-year-old Fourghozaman Firoozian

VIDEO: Wheelchairs teach Agassiz students acceptance through sport

Teacher Donna Gallamore brought wheelchairs to the Kent Elementary for learning and fun

Market volatility, mortgages loom over upcoming earnings of Canada’s big banks

Central bank interest hikes have padded the banks’ net interest margins

Hearings into SNC-Lavalin affair start today, but not with Wilson-Raybould

She has repeatedly cited solicitor-client privilege to refuse all comment

VIDEO: 8 things you need to know about the 2019 B.C. budget

Surplus of $247 million with spending on children, affordability and infrastructure

Tilray to acquire hemp food company Manitoba Harvest for up to $419 million

Tilray will pay $150 million in cash and $127.5 million in stock.

Tears, flowers at impromptu memorial for Syrian children killed in Halifax fire

The family had only lived in the Quartz Drive home for a few months

NDP candidates push for stronger climate action as Singh supports LNG Canada

Singh has tried to project unity in the party while facing internal criticism for poor fundraising and low support in the polls

‘Bullet missed me by an inch’: Man recounts friend’s killing at Kamloops hotel

Penticton man witnessed Summerland resident Rex Gill’s murder in Kamloops

B.C. BUDGET: Income assistance raise still leaves many below poverty line

$50 per month increase included in funding for poverty and homelessness reduction

Most Read