Tue | Sep 18, 2018

Three sent on leave at KPH for improper disposal of neonates

Published:Friday | June 1, 2018 | 12:00 AMJason Cross/Gleaner Writer
Philip Armstrong

Three employees of the Kingston Public Hospital have been sent on leave, pending investigations into the discovery of the improper disposal of the bodies of two neonates last month.

The bodies were being stored inside the morgue at the institution but were found among stray dogs on the streets behind the hospital.

Chairman of the South East Regional Health Authority Philip Armstrong told The Gleaner yesterday that three workers were being sought to replace those who have been sent home.

"We are three employees short now. Two of them are from the morgue and one is from operations. The morgue supervisor, who has been sent on leave, reported to the operations person. It was found that everybody was negligent in their responsibility in managing the bodies. We are trying to recruit persons to get back the required complement so that the place continues to run properly," he said.

In a press release issued yesterday, SERHA outlined that operating procedures as it related to the storage and removal of human remains from the morgue were ignored.

This has prompted the installation of enhanced security and surveillance systems to minimise similar occurrences in future.

"It is really a card mechanism. If a worker is to buzz on the door with his or her card, we now have an electronic signature of when you entered the building," Armstrong explained.

"If you were to bring a friend and something happens, we know that you were responsible for letting in that person. We have implemented surveillance cameras as well. It wasn't there, and it needed to be done," the SERHA chairman added.

He added: "The police are investigating to verify that there was no criminal activity taking place. The fact that two bodies were found behind the hospital is troubling.

"Through an independent consultant, we are going through the entire hospital to ensure there are no gaps in the way that we are doing things. We want to close them so that stuff like this doesn't happen again," Armstrong pledged.

jason.cross@gleanerjm.com