Deaths in the psychiatric ward: Montreal hospital under intense scrutiny | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Deaths in the psychiatric ward: Montreal hospital under intense scrutiny

Hospital Notre-Dame is seen Thursday, June 28, 2012 in Montreal. Montreal police are investigating two slayings and an attempted murder inside a Montreal hospital.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

MONTREAL - Intense scrutiny is being placed on a Montreal hospital where, in the course of several days, two psychiatric patients were killed and an attempt was allegedly made on the life of a third patient.

The union representing health-care professionals at Notre-Dame Hospital says it warned management last year that staffing cuts to the psychiatric department could have consequences.

Guy Brochu says he doesn't expect hospital psychiatric wards to be treated like prisons — but he wants officials to examine whether the situation could have been avoided with extra staff surveillance.

Two elderly patients were killed, by asphyxiation, in the hospital's psychiatric ward on separate days earlier this month.

Police arrested a 31-year-old psychiatric patient last week and charged him with attempted murder after he allegedly attacked a 71-year-old female patient in the ward.

Investigators are now trying to determine whether the suspect is connected to the deaths.

The hospital kept the deaths and the assault quiet for days.

A spokeswoman for the institution says it needed the time to alert families of the victims and of the other patients in the psychiatric ward before going public.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2012
The Canadian Press

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