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Attackers of QEH medics ‘to be prosecuted’

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By Anesta Henry

At least two acts of violence against Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) staff are expected to land before the law courts as the hospital makes good on its zero-tolerance stance against people who hurt healers, a senior hospital official said Tuesday.

Though unable to say how soon, the QEH Director of Nursing Services, Henderson Pinder, told journalists in a briefing at the Harrison Point Isolation Facility that the hospital has gone through the necessary channels to have the alleged assailants prosecuted.

He said: “I am aware of two cases that are being prosecuted and we will look to see what the results of those would be.”

Pinder was speaking as he welcomed a group of nurses from the United States who have come to volunteer their time caring for COVID-19 patients, In September, amid media reports that in just one week a number of QEH medics were physically assaulted by vexed patients, with one nurse being punched in the chest and a doctor hit in the face, QEH Director of Medical Services, Dr Clyde Cave, said he was concerned that the situation could spiral out of control.

Pinder again stressed that the QEH’s management, which has maintained that it will take a zero-tolerance stance on the abuse of staff, has moved to ensure that justice is served for the assaulted staff members.

He said: “I want this as a message to go out that we will not tolerate violence against our staff in any form.

We are going to view every incident as a serious incident. And we encourage our staff to report them and as an administration, we will take the appropriate action, and we will move the cases forward.”

The Director of Nursing Services said while the recent episodes were unfortunate, he also acknowledged that sometimes medical conditions lead people to display violent behaviour.

“Those types of people we can understand,” said Pinder.

“But when persons deliberately leave their homes to come to cause harm to staff at a medical facility, we are not going to condone those.

“We have always maintained a posture and a policy of no violence against our staff, zero tolerance to violence against our staff. However, sometimes because we had some gaps in our system, we have sought to close those gaps with the introduction of additional security personnel and also measures to control the flow of patients and the number of patients which can predispose to violence.

“We are also making every effort to make sure that patient care is delivered timely so that persons do not get agitated and such like. So those are some measures that we have put on the ground to ensure that those kinds of incidents are not repeated again and the staff are extremely comfortable at this time.”

(anestahenry@barbadostoday.bb)

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