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

Son of slain former Hells Angel is one of two men sentenced for crime spree

Pair’s 2017 series of Lower Mainland robberies stretched from Surrey to Mission

Debussy, Chopin, Bartok, and a selection of Celtic favourites

‘Music for a summer afternoon’ features live harp and flute performances at Trinity Western House

Vancouver Giants Scouts sticking with team for another season

Contracts extended for Head Scout Terry Bonner and Scouting Director Daryl Anning

Carson Crimeni’s mom mourns son

Chantell Griffiths misses the son she hadn’t seen much in recent years

Disney Plus to launch in Canada in November

Analysts say latest streaming service may escalate cord cutting

B.C. manhunt suspects left cellphone video before they died: family

Family member says Kam McLeod, Bryer Schmegelsky recorded final wishes

Okanagan bus driver assaulted for asking patron not to smoke

59-year-old in hospital with non-life threatening injuries

‘Person of interest’ identified after suspicious meat left in North Delta park

Piles of meat have been dumped near the 63rd Avenue trail entrance four times in the last 30 days

B.C. sets rules for ride hailing, same minimum fee as taxis

Larger operating areas seen as threat by cab companies

Two hiking families team up to extinguish fire in B.C. backcountry

Children and their parents worked for three hours to ensure safety of the popular hiking region

Oppenheimer Park residents told to leave, clear out tents by Aug. 21

Police say park has seen influx of residents, violence in recent months

Vancouver man arrested after pregnant woman’s SUV stolen, then crashed

Police are recommending charges against a 22-year-old Vancouver man

Most Read