Father's concern for hospitalized son grows after hearing N.B. ombud's report
The disturbing and grim description of New Brunswick's main mental health facility in a just-released report is hitting close to home for the families of those who've been treated there -- and that includes a father whose son was a patient there.
Darrell Tidd says his concerns have only grown and he worries about his son every day.
“I was horrified to learn that someone had died there,” Tidd said. “It just blew me away.”
Tidd is talking about Restigouche Hospital Centre in Campbellton, where his son has been since 2013.
Ombud Charles Murray released a report into the hospital Thursday after an almost two year investigation. In his words, the centre is “in crisis.”
“People that are there do the best to their ability, but they're not, even people in the field will tell you, they're not properly trained to handle some of those situations,” Tidd said.
He says his son has been telling him that he's being over-medicated.
“Ican tell when he calls me three different times a week, or I call him, you can tell and he'll tell me that they upped his needles, he gets two or three needles instead of one.”
Murray’s report also highlighted what the ombud described as “chronic understaffing.”
“It was really quite startling to learn that one-third of the time, staffing levels are what are considered dangerously low levels,” said New Brunswick Green Party leader David Coon.
Vitalite Health Network, which operates the hospital, contends the facility meets minimum staffing levels and patients are safe, but Tidd's mind hasn't been put at ease.
“Government needs to step up and do something,” he said. “It's, um, you know, this has been going on a long time.”
The province says it will issue a formal response to the ombud's report within 90 days.
CTV News did reach out to Vitalite Health Network over Tidd's concerns about his son but they say can't comment on specific cases as this would be a breach of the Privacy Act.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Laura Lyall.