In response to a media release the BCGEU issued yesterday – Chronic failure by PHSA to protect staff at Forensic Psychiatric Hospital (FPH) leads to another assault on health care worker – we were disappointed that Angela Draude, provincial executive director with the Forensic Psychiatric Services Commission, said she "hasn't personally heard a request for protective equipment from the BCGEU" in an interview with CKNW News.
"We would like to clarify that the BCGEU raised the issue of body armour in a meeting with the Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) and also argued against the decision to remove blocking pads for our members to use when approaching a violent client" says BCGEU president Stephanie Smith. "The fact that Ms. Draude was apparently not made aware of these issues speaks to the lack of oversight necessary to take protective steps."
Draude also stated that workers receive extensive violence prevention training but unfortunately this training falls far short of what is required for the FPH environment. In fact, the training Draude referred to is provided to all members of the PHSA in their various work environments such as the BC Cancer Agency, BC Children's Hospital and the BC Women's Hospital. Members at FPH were promised additional training suitable to the patients they serve by their employer, however this training has not been provided.
On behalf of BCGEU members at FPH, Smith will again be calling on the PHSA at their open board meeting on June 29th in Vancouver to provide improved onsite safety measures at the hospital, including suitable resources and protections for staff.
To read the media release mentioned above, click here: Chronic failure by PHSA to protect staff at Forensic Psychiatric Hospital (FPH) leads to another assault on health care worker
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