KINGSTON, ON, Jan. 31, 2013 /CNW/ - Cuts to Providence Care Mental
Health Services are impacting the safety of both staff and patients in
Staff who provide care to patients are marching outside their workplace
on Friday, February 1 from 11 am to 1 pm to demand both management and
area politicians begin to address the deteriorating conditions at the
Without long promised community alternatives, the psychiatric hospital
is facing overcrowded units, cuts to programming and budget-driven
understaffing that are creating a very volatile situation inside. Two
additional units are expected to close this year, taking another 60
beds out of use and reducing staffing further.
"When Providence Care is rebuilt, few realize that the new hospital will
have a considerably reduced capacity," says Warren (Smokey) Thomas,
President of the 130,000-member Ontario Public Service Employees Union.
"The cuts come at a time when demand for mental health services is on
the rise. Where will these patients go? Many in our care cannot be
easily transferred to the community."
OPSEU members working say administrators are more concerned about the
image of the hospital than resolving the problems inside.
That includes the need for proper risk assessments on units where both
patient-on-patient and patient-on-staff assaults have taken place,
resulting in unnecessary staff injuries that are now subject to
investigation by the Ministry of Labour.
"It is not the patients who are responsible for the situation, but a
province that has severely eroded mental health care in this
community," says Thomas. "We already know what the answers are - why
are we still waiting for Ontario to take action and adopt the broader
strategy outlined by the Mental Health Commission of Canada?"
SOURCE: Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU)
For further information:
contact OPSEU Regional VP Dave Lundy at 613-213-1953 (Cell).