Serious Assault at Hillside Psychiatric Centre in Kamloops

By Tara Gostelow
April 16, 2015 - 12:00am Updated: October 1, 2015 - 2:55pm

The president of the BC Nurses' Union confirms that another nurse has been seriously assaulted at Hillside Psychiatric Centre in Kamloops. Interior Health reports there was an incident between a patient and a nurse Wednesday night. When asked about the nurse's condition, BCNU President Gayle Duteil said, "she's alive; it was a serious assault."

The BCNU is expected to send out a news release later today. 

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The Interior Health Authority says it is focussed on supporting staff this morning and that an investigation is underway.

Earlier this month, the Ministry of Health committed to addressing violent attacks at nurses' workplaces, starting with four sites in BC. One of the sites is Hillside in Kamloops.

There have been several serious attacks on nurses at the psychiatric facility. WorkSafe BC launched an investigation in December 2013 after a patient hit a nurse in the face, jumped on her and pinned her to the ground. It took 8 staff members to get the patient off the nurse. Five days later there was another incident where a nurse was injured by a patient. One year later, in December 2014, a nurse was grabbed by the hair, punched several times, and thrown against the wall. 

The BCNU has been critical of the health authority for understaffing and failing to provide adequate security for employees at the facility. The union reported in December 2014 that the nurse who was assaulted had an alarm with a dead battery and a new alarm system was 18 months overdue.

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