Fri | May 20, 2022

Letter of the Day | Shame on you, Bellevue

Published:Wednesday | January 26, 2022 | 12:08 AM
The Bellevue Hospital, Kingston.
The Bellevue Hospital, Kingston.

THE EDITOR, Madam:

I am writing to express my dissatisfaction with the procedures in place at the Bellevue Hospital for dealing with reports of mental health episodes that may occur in the community. One such incident occurred in the Trafalgar division on the weekend and I sought to intervene by contacting the hospital only for the phone to ring to voicemail.

I then resorted to physically going to the hospital to seek the assistance needed by the resident but was informed that the mental health unit is responsible for picking up such patients and they do not work on weekends.

I was then instructed to call the police 119 number, which I did and was promptly informed that the Bellevue Hospital should be able to assist me even if the mental health unit is not working, as police officers are not sufficiently trained to deal with psychiatric patients. I offered free transportation for any qualified Bellevue Hospital employee willing to help to collect the patient, but the offer was rejected. It was through the kind assistance of a police officer that I reached out to personally that resulted in the patient being brought to the hospital where the patient was admitted.

MENTAL HEALTH UNITS SHOULD BE ON CALL

While the matter was eventually resolved, it has left me deeply concerned about why the services of the mental health unit are not available on weekends. This is unacceptable given that mental health episodes can affect a patient at any given time. I am therefore recommending that the mental health unit in each parish be available on call for emergencies outside of normal working hours. There also needs to be the creation of a unit that mirrors The Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM) for healthcare workers to protect the rights of citizens and staff members. This would provide independent investigation for medical and customer care misconduct. This unit would not be aimed at oppressing healthcare workers but provide the truth and improve the quality of the healthcare experience.

JESSE JAMES CLARKE

Junior Shadow Minister

Health and Wellness

Councillor Candidate Trafalgar

Division