Island Health says it will take a series of actions to address concerns of former patients at the Royal Jubilee Hospital’s Psychiatric Emergency Services. (Black Press Media File Photo)

Island Health says it will take a series of actions to address concerns of former patients at the Royal Jubilee Hospital’s Psychiatric Emergency Services. (Black Press Media File Photo)

Island Health promises action after criticism of Victoria hospital’s psychiatric unit

‘When we see things happen we’ll start to believe them,’ former patient says

Island Health says it is taking steps to improve psychiatric services at a Victoria hospital.

Earlier this month, former patients of Royal Jubilee Hospital’s Psychiatric Emergency Services (PES) unit made public critiques of the care they received, saying they were belittled, patronized and dismissed by staff when they were admitted for mental health care.

In an email, Island Health said PES strives to provide the best care possible.

“People have a right and an expectation to be treated with respect and dignity when they are accessing our services,” the health authority stated. “We are aware of the concerns many people have expressed regarding their experiences and care at PES, and we take these concerns seriously.”

Island Health said it is taking immediate and long-term actions to address the concerns, including having both clinical and non-clinical senior leadership on site at PES over the coming weeks “to better understand the experience and challenges of both patients and staff.”

Island Health also said it will strengthen the process for patients to have their voices heard and better inform patients of the process to formally enter a care concern.

Earlier this month Emma Epp, 19, and Ella Hale, 18, led the charge on allegations of poor care – taking their concerns directly to Premier John Horgan and meeting with Keva Glynn, Island Health’s director of Mental Health and Substance Use services.

Hale says the commitments from Island Health are nice to hear, but the group wants action.

“When we see things happen we’ll start to believe them,” she said. “Apologies and words are easy. Action is what’s harder.”

A silver lining, Hale added, is the community created by people opening up in the Facebook group – created by Hale and Epp – called PES: A Pathetic Excuse for Support.

“I think there’s healing in sharing your story. I think change needs to happen but if nothing comes out of it, we have this,” Hale said.

“I don’t think people were listening before. Now they’re listening.”

For more news from Vancouver Island and beyond delivered daily into your inbox, please click here.

RELATED: Former patients of Victoria Psychiatric Emergency Services call for change

READ ALSO: ‘Jarring experience’ in B.C. psych wards because of ‘uniquely problematic’ law


Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

Greater Victoriamental healthRoyal Jubilee HospitalVictoria

Just Posted

Imogene Lim, a Vancouver Island University anthropology professor, has received a Province of B.C. Medal of Good Citizenship. (Black Press file)
VIU anthropology professor receives B.C. Good Citizenship medal

Imogene Lim’s work includes advocacy for establishing Chinese heritage sites

Kit Thornton, chief aquarist at the Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea, plays with Wanda, the female Giant Pacific octopus currently residing at the centre. The centre will release Wanda back into the wild next month. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
An octopus named Wanda will soon say goodbye to Sidney

Wanda’s personality is ‘complete opposite’ of previous octopus named after Dr. Bonnie Henry

The Town of Lake Cowichan wants to get more people out of their cars. That should be the goal of all of the transportation plans currently under review in the Cowichan Valley. (Gazette file)
Editorial: Time to dream up better transportation options

Vancouver Island needs to ask ‘how are we going to get there from here?’

Saanich Fire Department on the scene after a car crashed into the Walmart in Uptown. (Photo courtesy Dan Wood)
PHOTOS: Saanich firefighters free trapped workers at Uptown Walmart

Incident reported as explosion after driver rammed through wall

The inside of the Campbell River Community Centre gymnasium has been marked off in order to facilitate the public flowing through the clinic as they receive their COVID-19 vaccination. Photo by Alistair Taylor – Campbell river Mirror
Leftover vaccines go into arms, not down the drain: Island Health

Immunization plan comes with built-in options for any unused vaccines at the end of the day

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

Librarian Katie Burns with the Fraser Valley Regional Libraries poses for a photo in Chilliwack on June 18, 2019. Monday, April 12, 2021 is Library Workers’ Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of April 11 to 17

Library Workers Day, That Sucks! Day, and Wear Your Pyjamas to Work Day are all coming up this week

Nanaimo RCMP are asking for the public’s help in identifying the man suspected of being involved in a stabbing. (Photo submitted)
Nanaimo RCMP trying to identify stabbing suspect who wielded rusty knife

Stabbing followed argument between two men at Port Place Shopping Centre April 1

Saanich police are investigating after a small dog was mauled and their was owner bitten in Mount Douglas Park by a large, off-leash dog April 6. (Photo via the Saanich Police Department)
UPDATED: Pup put down after being mauled by large, off-leash dog in Saanich park

Owner turned themself in after incident at Mount Doug Park

Don Bonner, RDN board director, left, Tyler Brown, RDN board chairperson, and Sean De Pol, RDN director of water and wastewater services, at a ribbon cutting ceremony at the Greater Nanaimo Pollution Control Centre April 6. (Shawn Wagar photo)
Nanaimo’s $82-million pollution control centre upgrade now complete

Wastewater treatment enhanced at RDN’s Greater Nanaimo Pollution Control Centre

The CRD is working on a solid waste management plan to reduce the amount of material sent to Hartland Landfill. (Black Press Media file photo)
No time to waste: Greater Victoria closes in on plan for garbage

CRD board to consider final draft solid waste management plan in May

Ryan Rasmussen goes on a training run on Quadra Island. Photo supplied.
Quadra Island man to run 160 km to raise funds for alternative cancer care

‘I feel like I need to be in pain to raise the money… I can’t do something that’s easy’ — Ryan Rasmussen

A man wears a face mask past the emergency department of the Vancouver General Hospital. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
Calls for stricter action in B.C. as COVID-19 variants projected to climb

Jens von Bergmann says the province has taken a ‘wait and see’ approach when early action is needed

Most Read