WHITBY, ON, Jan. 10 /CNW/ - Changes to Ontario Shores' adolescent
program are 30 years out-of-date says Dr. Gabrielle Ledger, a
Bowmanville psychiatrist who quit her job last month at the Whitby
In a public letter, Ledger says she quit her job at Ontario Shores
Centre for Mental Health Sciences as a direct result of changes being
In December Ontario Shores issued layoff notices to about half of its
child and youth workers as part of a merger of the short and long-stay
adolescent programs. The long-stay adolescent residential rehab (ARR)
program has successfully worked with youth from across the province
that have had between three and seven prior hospitalizations.
"In my opinion, this proposed change reflects the hospital's attempt to
apply an adult model of mental health services to a non-adult
population," she writes. "This is a significant step backwards towards
a model that is thirty years out of date."
Ontario Shores plans on replacing about twenty child and youth workers
with nursing staff providing a very different model of care.
Ledger says the adolescent programs at Ontario Shores are staffed by an
experienced team of professionals who have collaborated for more than
"Unfortunately the recent decision made by the administrators of this
newly divested hospital suggests that they may be unaware of the
history of the programs and the careful evolution that occurred before
their tenure at Ontario Shores."
Ledger is not the first health professional to speak about the move.
Dr. Krista Lemke, Medical Director of Child and Adolescent Mental Health
Services at the Toronto East General Hospital, stated in a December
letter that while nursing staff are equally essential team members and
contribute their own unique skills, they often require additional
training in child and adolescent mental health.
Lemke writes: "From a human resources perspective, this was a
well-functioning team, capable of providing high quality care to a
particularly vulnerable population of adolescents. It saddens me
greatly to hear that this unique team no longer seems to be valued and
may be largely disbanded."
The complete text of the letters is available at http://www.opseu.org/news/press2010/jan-10-2011-hcrelease-letters.htm.
SOURCE Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU)
For further information:
contact Rick Janson at 416-443-8888 ext 8383 or 416-525-3324 (Cell)