COPCAT Shorts: Failure To Protect In Canadian Psychiatric Care

In May of 2017, the Office of the Ombud received an anonymous written disclosure alleging significant failures to protect patients of the Restigouche Hospital Centre (“RHC”) from mistreatment and inadequate care at the hands of staff.

Our investigation into the matter has concluded that these allegations are substantiated.

We believe that in multiple cases there has been significant mistreatment of RHC patients.

… we feel confident in stating these conclusions:

There is an ongoing safety risk to both patients and staff at RHC. Corrective measures are urgently needed;

There have been serious incidents of mistreatment of patients at RHC;

RHC is not consistently providing adequate care to patients;

Chronic understaffing has eroded the culture and service model at RHC; and,

Sincere attempts to change the culture and improve the service delivery have not succeeded.

We recommend substantial revision of the mission of RHC. With the existing staff, the institution simply can not provide the entire range of mental health services it has been mandated.

Failure To Protect
Failure To Protect Ombud New Brunswick from 7 February 2019.

Read Failure To Protect in English.

Lire le rapport final en français.

Read the Concluding observations of the UN Committee against Torture from December 2018 concerning Canada and the need for independent oversight of psychiatric detention in Canada.