Sunnybrook lifts ban, allows daughter to see aging veteran father | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Sunnybrook lifts ban, allows daughter to see aging veteran father

Jackie Storrison is seen outside Sunnybrook Veterans Centre in Toronto on Sunday, Jan. 6, 2013, where her father, 91, is a resident. Sunnybrook banned Storrison, 61, after she complained about substandard care of frail vets and had her escorted out by police. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Colin Perkel

TORONTO - Canada's largest veterans facility has lifted its ban on a woman who complained about bedbugs and a threat to a resident's safety.

Following a weekend meeting, Sunnybrook said Jackie Storrison could see her aging dad at its veterans centre, from which police escorted her more than a week ago.

The facility did insist security was on hand when Storrison went to see her father on Saturday.

"To have security sitting outside the room was beyond humiliating," Storrison, 61, said Sunday.

"I felt as though I was under house arrest. I felt like I had been convicted of a criminal offence and basically given probation with the condition that I attend mediation."

Sunnybrook banned Storrison, who has spent most evenings over the past three years caring for her 91-year-old father at the veterans centre, after nurses apparently accused her of going on a "verbal rampage for hours on end".

Storrison, who denies being abusive, said the allegation came after she alerted staff to an elderly resident wandering down the hallway alone and on another occasion to bedbugs in a patient's room.

Sunnybrook spokesman Craig DuHamel said Sunday the no-trespass order had been lifted unconditionally, and there was no need for security to be present during Storrison's future visits.

Storrison, a mother and grandmother who works in a lawyer's office, has been among a group of relatives with loved ones in Sunnybrook who have spoken publicly about what they call neglect of the most frail vets.

They also said the facility had consistently shut down their attempts at raising concerns.

Those allegations — all strenuously denied by Sunnybrook — prompted Veterans Affairs Minister Steven Blaney to order an audit of the 500-bed facility, something no level of government had done in more than seven years.

Results of the audit are pending.

Storrison said she was really bothered that neither executive vice-president Malcolm Moffat nor operations director Dorothy Ferguson asked at Saturday's meeting for her side of the story.

DuHamel said he hoped a mediator would help allay any issues, but mediation was not a requirement to lifting the ban.

"We're going to involve mediation to better understand and help us work with Mrs. Storrison to ensure we can meet the needs of her and her family in the future," DuHamel said.

Following the meeting, the Canadian Veterans Advocacy called off a threatened protest at Sunnybrook.

Co-founder Mike Blais said he was pleased the facility had lifted its ban and Storrison would get to see her father.

"It is our hope that when the mediation process concludes, the hospital will offer Ms. Storrison an apology and implement protocols to ensure such an event never occurs again," Blais said.

Storrison said the entire episode had left her distraught.

"I feel like I've been given an ultimatum with my father being held hostage if I don't agree to mediation," Storrison said.

She noted the nurses had never called security in the previous three years she has been there.

She also said she feared others would feel too intimidated to voice concerns in light of her ordeal.

"My mother and I have never asked for more than basic care," Storrison said.

"When that's not provided, we're not to complain, we're not to say a word?"

News from © The Canadian Press, 2013
The Canadian Press

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