Director of Health Services, Dr. Michael Pitts, told Amandala today that the Ministry of Health hopes to have a final report on investigations into an alleged sex scandal at the acute care psychiatric facility, housed at the Western Regional Hospital, by the end of the week.
DHS Pitts said that if the allegations against a hospital driver—suspended last week on allegations that he was having an affair with a vulnerable psychiatric patient—are confirmed, the acts, he said, would be “totally disgusting and out of order.”
That investigation is being headed by Bernadette Nicholson, hospital administrator and acting regional manager – who was in an emergency meeting until very late today, our newspaper was told.
Pitts said that he has confirmed that the driver in question has been suspended, pending the outcome of the investigations, but he said he has no information to indicate that any of the psychiatric staff has been transferred from the facility.
Visitation to the facility is restricted, and staff members are accused of buzzing in the driver so that he could see the patient in question.
That patient, as we understand it, had recently been charged in the Magistrate’s Court – but the question of whether she is mentally fit to stand trial had been raised.
DHS Pitts said that the ministry has to look at all the medical facts, and they also have to interview different people to see what they know or can corroborate.
Pitts declined to discuss reports that a pregnancy test had been conducted on the patient; however, he said that, “The person’s mother might have made certain insinuations…”
He notes that patients who are overly aggressive, suicidal or in need of special attention are housed at the acute care facility. A separate facility at Palm View houses other patients.
As for the allegations of sexual misconduct against the driver, Pitts said that it is the first instance of such an occurrence that he is aware of at the facility.
The DHS said that the Ministry is giving the investigative team until the end of this week to see what it comes up with.
Of note is that Nicholson has already confirmed to the media that some facility protocols were breached; however, she has said that there is, so far, no evidence of sexual misconduct between the driver and the patient.