Gawronsky Troubled by Use of Surgical Scissors in HSC Assault, Calls for Full Investigation
"The details of this attack are very troubling," said Gawronsky. "How does a patient in a forensic psychiatric ward get their hands on a pair of surgical scissors?" (Image: Darren Bernhardt/CBC)
Jan 26, 2018
On Friday, January 19, two violent incidents occurred in the psychiatric ward of the Health Sciences Centre in Winnipeg. The first involved an MGEU correctional officer and the second a member of the Winnipeg Police Service.
The incidents began when the correctional officer, who was escorting an inmate to the hospital for treatment, was attacked by another patient in the hospital’s forensic psychiatric unit who was armed with surgical scissors. While responding to the attack, a Winnipeg police officer was subsequently attacked by a second patient.
"The details of this attack are very troubling," said Gawronsky. "How does a patient in a forensic psychiatric ward get their hands on a pair of surgical scissors?"
Fortunately, neither officer was seriously injured in the attacks. However, questions remain about how a patient was able to gain access to surgical scissors in the forensic psychiatric unit, which is supposed to be under tight security.
In a letter sent to the Minister of Justice, the Minister of Health, the WRHA President and CEO, and the HSC COO, Michelle Gawronsky urged them to immediately launch a formal investigation into the incident and a thorough review of security protocols to ensure this type of incident does not happen again.
“This assault has to be a wakeup call for HSC, the WRHA, and Manitoba Justice,” said Gawronsky. “We are relieved that this assault did not result in more serious injuries, but are very concerned about the ongoing risk to patients, health care workers, hospital security staff, and correctional officers escorting inmates to hospital."