Third Patient Wanders From Vancouver Hospital

Third Patient Wanders From Vancouver Hospital

A third patient has wandered from a Vancouver Hospital.

Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster BC has reported a third at risk patient wandering from its facility since April. The more distressing part of this story is that according to patient advocate Connie Jorsvik of Patient Pathways, “this happens all the time”. This situation is referred to as a Code Yellow. There have been 5 Code Yellows between January and May of this year at Royal Columbian Hospital alone.

Watch the news story on Global News from June 10 2020

Child Care Centers and Care Facilities are required to report these instances immediately to their licensing officer. The consequences of repeated incidents results in scrutiny of policy, procedure, staffing qualification and immediate changes. If these centers do not comply immediately the center is closed by provincial licensing officers. Why are hospitals not held to the same accountable standards for Code Yellow incidents?

These quoted sections from the Assisted Living Act pertain to Reportable Incidents and General Care Requirements at Care Facilities.

The entire act can be found here: Residential Care Regulation taken from Community Care and Assisted Living Act

Schedule 1 of the Act defines a “missing or wandering person” as a reportable incident:

“missing or wandering person” means a person in care who is missing;

Identification of persons in care off-site

Division 2 – General Care Requirements states

56(1)  A licensee must ensure that a person in care who leaves a community care facility for a temporary purpose has in his or her possession written documentation indicating the person in care’s name, the community care facility’s name and emergency contact information.

(2)  Subsection (1) does not apply to a licensee who provides a type of care described as Child and Youth Residential in respect of persons in care who are capable of identifying themselves.

(3)  If a licensee has reason to believe that a person in care

(a) may leave a community care facility without notifying an employee, and

(b) may not be capable of identifying himself or herself,

the licensee must ensure that the person in care is fitted with a bracelet or other means that cannot be removed easily, indicating the person in care’s name, the community care facility’s name and emergency contact information.

Division 6 — Matters That Must Be Reported

Reportable incidents

77(1)  For the purposes of this section, a person in care is involved in a reportable incident if the person in care

(a) is the subject of

(i)  a reportable incident, or

(ii)  in the case of reportable incidents of emotional, physical, financial or sexual abuse, or neglect, an alleged or suspected reportable incident, or

(b) witnesses a reportable incident.

(2)  Subject to subsection (3), if a person in care is involved in a reportable incident, the licensee must immediately notify

(a) the parent or representative, or contact person, of the person in care,

(b) the medical practitioner or nurse practitioner responsible for the care of the person in care,

(c) a medical health officer, in the form and in the manner required by the medical health officer, and

(d) the funding program, if any.

What are the policies and procedures at hospitals in British Columbia?

What are the policies and procedures at hospitals to protect vulnerable members of the community? Hospital administration claim they will be reviewing the protocols. When will we see a change? How many people need to wander away before change is made? When are they accountable?

If you or a loved one are a victim of a Code Yellow, we want to hear from you. Contact Wishart Brain and Spine Law at 604-674-9331 or  1-855-WISHART or Robyn Wishart at rlw@wishlaw.ca

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