OTTAWA, Nov. 26, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - The Ontario Nurses Association (ONA) has raised concerns about The Royal's commitment to the safety of its staff. Today, The Royal reaffirmed the organization's dedication to providing an environment that is healthy and safe for staff and that also meets the therapeutic needs of patients in a respectful and caring way.
George Weber, President and CEO of The Royal: "At The Royal our world-class team of mental health professionals are dedicated to providing the best possible care to people suffering from severe and complex mental illnesses. Unfortunately, there have been some incidents in which staff have been injured while providing this care. When these incidents have occurred, we have acted swiftly to ensure that everyone involved received support and treatment. We also take immediate action to understand the circumstances and learn from them in order to eliminate, or at the very least reduce, any future risks. This balance between maintaining a healthy work environment for our staff and providing the right therapeutic milieu for our patients is a top priority for me and our entire leadership team - we work continuously to promote safety for staff while respecting the rights and dignity of our patients."
Karen Daley, Chief Nursing Executive (Interim) of The Royal and former director of Patient Care Services of the Recovery Program (ROP): "The Royal provides person and family centered care – this means that we see our patients as people who have a right to the best possible treatment which is provided by our professional caring staff. Our staff have a right to a safe and secure work environment – this is something we take very seriously as an organization. We provide all staff with the latest evidence-informed training and resources and emergency preparedness to promote and support a safe care environment. I led a number of quality improvement initiatives in the Recovery Program that has resulted in positive outcomes."
Claude Lurette, mental health patient advocate and former patient of The Royal: "During the height on my illness, I had become very erratic in my behaviour. I was particularly violent when I felt threatened, whether real or perceived. I lashed out at others because it was the only way I knew how to protect myself at that time when I wasn't able to verbalize my feelings. This was the worst part of my mental illness. Once I had been stabilized, or when I felt safer, I always regretted acting out and was more concerned that I may have hurt others than hurt myself. It wasn't until I became solid in my recovery of living with bi-polar disorder that I came to understand that the best thing I can do is to own my behaviour and learn what I need to learn in order to minimize the chances of it happening again. It is hard to find the words to express how much I appreciate the nurses and other staff who took care of me even when my behavior was unpredictable. They supported me, cared for me, helped me gain insight into my illness, and gave me the tools I need to remain in control of myself. My nurse truly saved my life and for that I will be forever grateful."
During his recovery, Claude Lurette became an active patient advocate and the Chair of The Royal's 'Client Empowerment Council' where he consulted on the development and education of The Royal's policy on Violence in the Workplace. Claude states: "The Client Empowerment Council became advocates for the safety of our care team because a safe place for staff members increased patient safety as well. We all used the relationships with our nurses to guide us in our work as an advisory committee and continue to work with them and all other health professionals to ease the transition from illness to recovery."
About The Royal
The Royal is one of Canada's foremost mental health care and academic health science centres. Its mandate is simple: to help more people living with mental illness into recovery faster. The Royal combines the delivery of specialized mental health care, advocacy, research and education to transform the lives of people with complex and treatment resistant mental illness. The Royal's Research Institute is proudly affiliated with the University of Ottawa. The Royal Ottawa Foundation for Mental Health raises funds that support The Royal's work while placing a sharp focus on awareness building through the You Know Who I Am campaign and the DIFD youth initiative. For more information, please visit www.theroyal.ca
SOURCE: The Royal
For further information: Karen Monaghan, Communications Manager, The Royal - 613.722.6521, ext. 6449, firstname.lastname@example.org