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No policy, no fair

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Fraser Health

When a policy is changed it’s important to ensure all those impacted know about the revision.

While detained at the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital, Joe requested to see a new psychiatrist. Joe completed and submitted the required form but he never heard back.

Feeling like he was being treated unfairly and not knowing where to turn, Joe called us.

We looked into whether the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital provided a satisfactory response to Joe’s request to see a new psychiatrist. Our investigation revealed that the model of care had changed, meaning that psychiatrists were now assigned to a specific unit. There was no way to change psychiatrists without changing units. The form Joe was provided with, and the associated policy, was outdated and therefore irrelevant. For Joe to request to see a new psychiatrist and change units, he would have to make a request via the Program and Privilege Committee. However, it appeared that the Committee’s policy did not clearly address the transfer of patients between units when requested by patients.

Because of Joe’s complaint and the results of our investigation, the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital amended its policy to address the transfer of patients between units when requested by patients. We also asked that all patients have access to current information on the process available to them for requesting a transfer or new psychiatrist. The hospital agreed to our recommendations.

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