London

Almost 10,000 patients have been flagged as 'potentially violent' at LHSC in the last year

Since a policy that puts purple armbands on people who are flagged as having a history of violence or a potential for violence started in May 2018, 9,947 people have been slapped with the designation.

9, 947 people were flagged as violent or potentially violent between May 2018 to May 2019

The Baker Centre for Pancreatic Cancer will provide patients with access to new treatments and will also serve as a research hub. (Paula Duhatschek/CBC)

New numbers show that almost 10,000 patients were flagged as violent or potentially violent at the London Health Sciences Centre in the last year. 

Those are the patients who were screened under the hospitals new Behaviour Assessment Screening policy, which began being implemented May 1, 2018. 

During that time, the hospital saw 254,950 patients.

Patients who have a history of violence or who appear agitated, confused, or irritable, or exhibit several other potentially violent behaviours, are flagged indefinitely under the new system. 

That means someone who is acting confused during a visit to the hospital must wear a purple armband; if the patient refuses, he or she has to be escorted anywhere they go in the hospital. 

The patient has to wear a purple armband on any subsequent visit to the hospital or any of its sites, even if he or she is no longer displaying the offending behaviour. 

Advocates say the practice unfairly targets people who have a mental illness and infringes on patients' human rights. 

In fact, about a dozen human rights complaints have been filed against the hospital and 150 patients have appealed their "violent" designation. 

The hospital refuses to say how many appeals have been successful, citing patient confidentiality. 

On Monday, the hospital said it's still reviewing its application of the violence screening tool, a review that began in February and was supposed to wrap up this pring. 

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