Things are improving in the psychiatry department at the Chicoutimi hospital

Things are improving in the psychiatry department at the Chicoutimi hospital

In the last few days, Le Quotidien collected the testimony of a supervisor of the psychiatric establishment who criticized the security conditions in which the staff work. This person has worked for several years within the establishment and prefers to remain anonymous to avoid retaliation from their employer. According to this person, the weekend was a bit stormy when a patient warned the staff that there was a neighbor who tried to commit suicide by hanging despite the security measures in place. A patient leaves the D-9 psychiatry department to go to the elevator despite two barred doors, while another person leaves the hospital to find himself on the ground, which requires several hours of searching. A patient in crisis punched a nurse, who had to leave her workstation.

All these alleged facts lead our source to say that the safety of patients and staff is being questioned in the Department of Psychiatry due to some staff in the area and poor management. “There are three supervisors in the department. With three agents, I’m not safe. People are not gullible. I have two keys, latex gloves, a radio, a sting-proof vest, and a big mouth. The management does not recognize our reality. We no longer do security tours. We only have time to deal with emergencies,” he criticized.

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In addition to these facts reported, our source recalls that the department D-8 receives patients who have to face the justice of the psychiatric evaluation ordered by the judges, a situation that must be known to the public in a context where security may leave something to be desired. According to this person, the hospital in Chicoutimi has experienced an increase in the use of homeless people in a state of consumption brought on by the police and paramedics in the context of revolving doors. “The homeless must still be served. We are the hotel and restaurant in Saint-Vallier. There was one person who went to the hospital eight times on the same day after being discharged each time,” said the man, who admitted he had more to share.

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The interviewee mentioned that his only interest in raising the alarm was to improve the safety of the public and staff.

Asked about the working conditions of surveillance personnel, Olivier Côté, president of the Union of Paratechnical Personnel of Auxiliary Services and Trades (CSN), was informed of some events that took place at the end of last week but did not confirm if what really happened “In mental health, the needs are much more urgent. It is difficult to retain the skills of people in the face of staff turnover and loss of skills. We want to make sure that safety is put first,” stated Mr. Côté.

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Due to the mix-up mentioned above, Mr. Côté mentioned that a post-event investigation is planned with the management and the employees concerned. At the time of the interview, Mr. Côté was awaiting confirmation from the employer. He mentioned that, from time to time, CNESST inspectors visit the department to see if there are enough monitoring personnel and if the physical locations are suitable. “In terms of resources, it is always difficult in these sectors. We have been asking for a long time if we can increase and change the structure of the department. We will make sure to finish the post-event,” he concluded.