Quest care facility death: No charges laid
Community Services orders review of protocol, no public inquiry
RCMP say they will not lay charges following an investigation into the death of a 56-year-old man who was living at the Quest Regional Rehabilitation Centre in Lower Sackville.
The investigation was sparked when Gordon Longphee was hurt on May 11 and taken to hospital. Police were not called until four days later.
Longphee died in hospital on May 17.
RCMP say a 28-year-old man living at Quest pushed Longphee. They say a combination of the push and fall, as well as Longphee's pre-existing medical conditions, resulted in the man's death.
The death was deemed a homicide, but there will be no charges.
"This was a tragic accident and without intent to harm, and therefore no directives will be issued related to the incident in the hallway," said Community Services Minister Joanne Bernard.
Bernard says Quest will review its best practices and her department will pay for the review, but there will be no independent inquiry.
"We know what happened," she said. "A public inquiry is not needed in this. The police have done their investigation. The department [has] done their internal investigation," she said.
"I wish I could say definitely that incidents can’t happen, but when you are working with individuals that have extraordinary unique and individualized health conditions and behaviours our job is to make sure, and the service providers' job is to make sure, that safety and protocols are followed, and in this case they were."
When asked why RCMP weren’t called until May 15, Bernard says that was up to Quest.
"We don’t run Quest. Quest runs Quest. We license and fund them," she said. "We don’t interfere in the operations of an organization."
Following the death, advocacy groups called on the province to close care institutions like Quest.
"We’re looking at reducing our reliance on residential care," said Bernard. "From my mandate onwards there will be no new institutional beds being built in Nova Scotia."