Before the firing of London Health Sciences Centre CEO and President Dr. Paul Woods, reaction from the community and LHSC staff was outrage.
A registered nurse from University Hospital contacted CTV News on the condition of anonymity with information documenting failures of leadership over the months prior to the deadly outbreak at UH.
The now former CEO of LHSC emailed staff one day after the alpha outbreak occurred at UH on Nov. 11.
We will refer to the unnamed source as ‘John’, who says Woods should have been looking at a policy that was put into place 9 days earlier.
“Nothing really changed, in terms of how we were handling it, the staff. What changed was the people that were allowed in” says 'John'.
According to internal emails provided to CTV News notes a change in the visitor policy occurred on Nov. 2, for the majority of the hospital, which allowed far more people into the hospital than before.
“To have one specific visitor every single day for three hours at minimum,” says ‘John’ who had a first hand account of the lack of mask usage by some visitors and policy that was not always policed.
“This was very loosely enforced, there were a lot of times that I saw visitors just walking the halls with the patients.”
One of the main focus in the Nov. 11 memo to staff, was socially distancing during breaks. According to documents provided by ‘John’ the hospital acknowledged this issue nearly 3 months earlier in an Aug. 18 memo to staff, and had promised to look into strategies to help staff socially distance.
“As of November 11th when Paul Woods felt it necessary to threaten his staff, there had still been no additional break rooms set up, or any counter measure in place.”
That didn’t occur until November 27th, when it was announced new break spaces would be opened up for staff. It was also the same day the visitor policy was scrapped as the outbreak continued to spread. But a rumour of a staff potluck was the apparent focus of an internal investigation at the time.
“There was no potluck, we’re not sure where this rumour came from, but it’s just obscene that this was the focus of their investigation.”
‘John’ says morale at the hospital after that dropped, and has remained low to this day. The revelation that Woods had travelled across the border five times, all the while scolding staff, left them in fear of reprisal and even dismissal.
“It just felt like a complete failure of leadership.”
“Even if they say non of the senior leadership have travelled. I don’t trust the word of the board at this point, I find that hard to believe”
We have reached out multiple times to the LHSC board of directors for comment, and have not received a response.
Our interview with ‘John’ was conducted hours before the dismissal of Woods as President and CEO of LHSC.