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Royal Ottawa fined $75K after nurse stabbed at Brockville facility

An organization that oversees mental health care services in Ottawa and Brockville, Ont., has been fined $75,000 by the province after a nurse was stabbed by a patient nearly three years ago.

Patient stabbed nurse in head, neck in 2014

The Royal Ottawa Health Care Group was found guilty earlier this year on a single charge under the Occupational Health and Safety Act in connection with the October 2014 stabbing. (Stephane Mahe/Reuters)

An organization that oversees mental health care services in Ottawa and Brockville, Ont., has been fined $75,000 by the province after a nurse was stabbed by a patient nearly three years ago.

The Royal Ottawa Health Care Group was found guilty earlier this year on a single charge under the Occupational Health and Safety Act in connection with the attack, which took place at the Brockville Mental Health Centre on Oct. 10, 2014.

According to a statement Wednesday by the Ministry of Labour, the patient had just been escorted to the washroom when she stabbed the nurse multiple times with a pen.

It was one of a series of assaults the patient carried out on nurses at the facility between August and October 2014 after she was transferred to its forensic treatment unit. the ministry said.

The nurse was stabbed in the head and neck, leaving her with serious injuries.

Failed to assess workplace violence

In April, a judge acquitted the Royal Ottawa Health Care Group on four of five charges, but found the organization guilty of failing to reassess the risks of workplace violence and ensuring related policies and programs continue to protect workers.

After that ruling, Dr. Adekunle Ahmed, an associate chief with the organization, said the Brockville Mental Health Centre did its best for the patient, and that the facility quickly made improvements after the attack. 

The centre operates a 100-bed "secure treatment unit," managed with the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services, that serves 30 correctional facilities across Ontario.

The patient who stabbed the nurse was a federal inmate at the facility, part of a two-bed pilot project with Correctional Services Canada that has since ended. 

The fine was handed down by a Brockville judge Wednesday.