Nova Scotia urges steps at psychiatric hospitals to protect public
Review into handling of forensic psychiatric patients prompted by death of Raymond Taavel
Posted: Sep 18, 2012 8:45 AM AT
Last Updated: Sep 18, 2012 10:44 PM AT
A Nova Scotia government review released today lists better tracking and more frequent assessments of forensic psychiatric patients among the 18 recommendations prompted by the death of Halifax gay rights activist Raymond Taavel in April.
Andre Noel Denny, a psychiatric patient at the East Coast Forensic Hospital, faces second-degree murder charges in Taavel's death. Denny had failed to return to the hospital after being granted a one-hour leave last April — an incident that led government officials to review release protocols for psychiatric patients.
The review identified significant gaps where improvements "can and must be made to increase public protection," the report says.Raymond Taavel, 49, died after being beaten on Gottingen Street in Halifax. (CBC)
Chris Power, CEO for Capital Health, said the health-care network is committed to closing those gaps in the system.
The joint review was led by:
- Deputy ministers from the health and justice departments.
- The CEO of Capital Health.
- Dr. Alex Simpson from the University of Toronto.
- Dr. Johann Brink, clinical and scientific director for the Forensic Psychiatric Services Commission in British Columbia.
The review found the East Coast Forensic Hospital procedures were "similar to and in some areas more advanced" than hospitals in other parts of Canada. A joint review said the practices in granting community access to patients "met or exceeded provincial standards."
Denny was granted a one-hour leave leave April 16. Taavel, 49, was killed in the early hours of April 17 outside Menz Bar, a popular gay club on Gottingen Street in Halifax.
Police said it appears Taavel tried to break up a fight between two men after leaving the bar.
In court documents, Denny is described as suffering from paranoid schizophrenia. He is also described as being grossly psychotic with a history of aggressive impulsivity and unpredictability.
Government accepts recommendations
Minister of Health and Wellness Dave Wilson said the government supports all 18 recommendations.
Justice Minister Ross Landry also accepted the joint review's recommendations.
He said the events of April 17 cannot be changed.
"A tragedy spurred this critical review. It is hoped these improvements honour the memory of a man who was deeply committed to positive change in his community," read the report.
Wilson said he doesn't know the cost of implementing the recommendations, but procedural changes recommend in the review wouldn't come with much of a price tag.
The report did not mention whether GPS tracking bracelets would be used for patients, but the Capital District Health Authority will explore using cellphones or pagers to monitor patients on leave.
Latest Nova Scotia News Headlines
- ECBC boss says no wrongdoing in alleged patronage hirings
- The head of Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation says he has done nothing wrong after complaints were raised that he was hiring along Conservative partisan lines. more »
- RCMP search for missing Colchester County girl, 15
- Colchester RCMP are asking for the public's help to find a missing 15-year-old girl from Upper Economy, N.S. reported missing Tuesday morning. more »
- Premier calls for scandal-plagued MLA to step down
- Nova Scotia Premier Darrell Dexter is giving convicted MLA Trevor Zinck time to resign and holding out the threat of expulsion if he doesn't quit. more »
- Oil spill liability increased to $1B in clean-up costs
- Ottawa announced new provisions Tuesday to ensure the oil industry is responsible for cleaning up spills during offshore drilling and commercial production. more »
Top News Headlines
- TV chef Nigella Lawson's husband cautioned by police for assault
- Prominent British art collector Charles Saatchi has admitted assault and accepted a police caution after published photos showed him grasping the throat of his wife, celebrity chef Nigella Lawson. more »
- G8 leaders agree to 7-point plan on Syria as summit wraps
- Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the other G8 leaders reach a seven-point plan aimed at stopping the conflict in Syria, wrapping up a two-day summit in Northern Ireland following talks on trade, tax evasion, poverty and terrorism. more »
- In Bangladesh's garment trade, empowerment comes at $20 a week
- The pay is laughable by Western standards, and the shantytowns of Dhaka offer a difficult life. But the surge of mostly young women into the country's increasingly important clothing industry is having a profound change on this largely Islamic society, Margaret Evans writes. more »
- Are e-cigarettes safe to puff?
- As electronic or e-cigarettes grow in popularity, some health advocates want them to be regulated. more »
- Digby man gets $248K after police assault
- Man charged with 2nd-dgree murder in Reita Jordan case
- Premier calls for scandal-plagued MLA to step down
- ECBC boss investigated for 'gross mismanagement'
- Dartmouth hospital monitors C. difficile outbreak
- Zinck wants to stay MLA despite guilty pleas
- Ottawa spending millions to repair Dominion building
- Police investigate rash of suburb break and enters
- Halifax pair realizes bacon restaurant dream