Province, Vitalité Health Network respond to ombud’s report on Restigouche Hospital Centre

The provincial government says a nationally recognized mental health expert has been hired to review issues raised in an ombud’s report at the province's main mental health facility.

George Weber, former president and CEO of Royal Ottawa Health Care Group, will review the issues raised in the ombud’s report with the Vitalité Health Network and report back to the department.

Charles Murray, the province's ombud, says patients are suffering negligence, abuse, and unacceptable treatment at the Restigouche Hospital Centre in Campbellton, adding that the facility is chronically understaffed and failing to provide adequate care.

Health Minister Ted Flemming the treatment of patients detailed in these incident reports is unacceptable and will not be tolerated in a health-care facility in New Brunswick.

He says a formal response to this report will be issued within 90 days.

In it's own response to the report, the Vitalité Health Network noted that some changes have already been implemented as a result of its own reviews.

That includes improving the processes related to forensic psychiatric assessments, which the health authority says has cut the length of stays in half and eliminated overcapacity of the forensic unit.

Vitalité also says staffing rotations have also been improved.