Northern Health to Conduct Internal Review Following Alleged Kidnapping
Prince George, B.C. – Northern Health is staying tight lipped regarding yesterday’s alleged kidnapping at the University Hospital of Northern BC.
It happened at around 1 p.m. when a 44 year old man pushed a 50 year old woman in a wheel chair out of the hospital against her will and drove away.
Police apprehended the suspect six hours later and returned the woman to hospital (the suspect has since been remanded in custody pending a court appearance).
“As there is an RCMP investigation underway I can’t provide any information at this time,” says Northern Health’s media lead, Jonathon Dyck. “We can’t speak to the specific incident but as we do after anything at UHNBC, any incident, we will conduct an internal review after the (RCMP) investigation is completed.”
But are safety protocols in place to avoid such situations from occurring?
“Patients are free to come and go from the unit or hospital as they see fit,” says Dyck. “Unless they’re committed under the Mental Health Act or there’s a clinical medical reason why they can’t leave the unit, friends and family routinely ask to take patients to the cafeteria or outside for a fresh air break.”
In such instances he says patients usually tell staff if they are going out of the unit and staff will assist people that may need to be transferred to a wheel chair or have other needs taken care of.
“If there’s an unusual circumstance, staff do try to discuss it with the patient or with the people asking to take the patient outside the unit,” says Dyck. “We want patients, family, and friends to feel welcome at the hospital while balancing that need for support of a patients privacy.”
He says there are also a number of security measures at UHNBC to help protect patients, staff, and physicians.
“We do ask security on site that patrol the hospital and respond to situations if support is required and we also have a relationship with the RCMP and call them if required to respond to an incident.”
Dyck says all Northern Health sites have “a plan that helps eliminate or minimizes risk of exposure to workers or patients to injury or illness resulting from aggressive people.”
In addition to that, he says the care planning process with each patient includes discussions about any possible concerns they may have about visitors.
“We rely on patients to tell us if they feel unsafe or do not wish to have specific visitors.”