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