Mother seeks answers in hospital suicide
The mother of a man who killed himself in Edmonton's Royal Alexandra Hospital in September is demanding answers.
Shayne Hay, 34, checked himself into the hospital's emergency ward, telling staff he was suicidal.
Twelve hours later, still in hospital without receiving treatment or being given access to the counselling he asked for repeatedly, Hay wrote a suicide note and hanged himself with a strap on his backpack.
"He told them he was suicidal. You know, put a red flag on his chart or check on him or something, and what happened to those people who were supposed to be on duty 24-7? He never got any help," said Hay's mother, Carol Woolsey, referring to a round-the-clock mental health team at Royal Alexandra Hospital that works with emergency room patients.
Woolsey wonders why her son was left alone for so long without being treated, and why he was allowed to keep his backpack.
"We'd like to know what happened and, you know, whatever it takes to get that straightened out — whether it's the government or what, I don't know, I don't have the solutions either but somebody must."
In October, Health Minister Gene Zwozdesky committed to admitting and treating patients within eight hours of their arrival, but figures released Friday show that for nine ERs in Calgary and Edmonton, only one in each city came close to meeting that target.
In April, a Calgary widow spoke out, saying the system failed to protect her husband who committed suicide at the Rockyview General Hospital.
In a written statement, Alberta Health Services said it met with Hay's family in the days following his death to "discuss the incident and the quality assurance review process."
There are two reviews into Hays' death underway, the statement said, with recommendations expected within the coming weeks.
"We will meet with the family again to discuss recommendations from the quality assurance reviews in the coming weeks," the statement said. "It would be inappropriate to publicly discuss details of this review with the media prior to our conversation with the family."