Mount Carmel nurs­ing aide in­terned as pa­tient af­ter al­leged ar­gu­ment with su­pe­rior trans­ferred to an­other hospi­tal

The Malta Independent on Sunday - - NEWS -

Al­bert Galea The Mount Carmel Hospi­tal nurs­ing aide who was in­terned as a pa­tient at the hospi­tal fol­low­ing an al­leged ar­gu­ment with a su­pe­rior has been trans­ferred to an­other hospi­tal un­til a re­port by the Men­tal Health Com­mis­sioner is com­pleted, govern­ment sources told The Malta In­de­pen­dent on Sun­day.

The case was re­ferred to Men­tal Health Com­mis­sioner John Cachia, and sources at Mount Carmel told this news­room that in the past days a large num­ber of em­ploy­ees, in­clud­ing the man­age­ment, were in­ter­ro­gated by staff of the com­mis­sion.

The com­plete re­port along with the com­mis­sioner’s con­clu­sions is ex­pected to be pre­sented to the Min­is­ter for Health, Chris Fearne, in the com­ing days.

The case came to light af­ter the Gen­eral Work­ers Union re­ceived a note from the nurs­ing aide in ques­tion, who said that she had been in­terned as a pa­tient for four days af­ter an ar­gu­ment she al­legedly had with her su­pe­rior.

Jeremy Camil­leri from the GWU said the nurs­ing aide had been in­structed by the hospi­tal’s man­age­ment to apol­o­gise to her su­pe­rior, an in­struc­tion she obeyed. How­ever, the su­pe­rior said that she re­fused to work with the nurs­ing aide any­more, al­leg­ing that the aide re­quired psy­chi­atric treat­ment.

In­deed three days later, Camil­leri said, the man­age­ment sum­moned the aide and said they were wor­ried that she would hurt her­self and those around her, and so she was in­terned as a pa­tient. Camil­leri said that the aide was kept in the same ward where she worked and un­der ‘level 1 con­stant watch’. This meant that she had to be ac­com­pa­nied ev­ery­where, even when she show­ered, an ex­pe­ri­ence which Camil­leri de­scribed as “hu­mil­i­at­ing”.

The or­der to de­tain her and keep her un­der con­stant watch was given “over the phone”, Camil­leri added, be­fore con­tra­dict­ing the hospi­tal’s claim that the aide had been ad­mit­ted with her con­sent.

Fur­ther­more, dis­ci­plinary pro­ceed­ings were opened against the aide; Camil­leri said the case had been heard with­out the aide be­ing present to de­fend her­self. The rea­son why she was not present for the hear­ing was that she had been on sick leave, Camil­leri said, adding that the Dis­ci­plinary Board had not taken the same view and saw her lack of at­ten­dance as ev­i­dence of her “ar­ro­gance”.

Camil­leri said that an in­de­pen­dent psy­chi­a­trist who ex­am­ined the aide had con­cluded that at the time of the in­ci­dent be­tween her and her su­pe­rior, the nurs­ing aide was con­scious of her ac­tions and con­scious that she was suf­fer­ing from no con­di­tions.

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