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Family frustrated after dementia patient was transferred without permission
Julia Parrish, CTV Edmonton
Published Thursday, December 13, 2012 5:49PM MST
Last Updated Thursday, December 13, 2012 7:09PM MST
The legal guardian of an elderly dementia patient is outraged – after she said her uncle was discharged and moved out of a hospital without her knowledge.
At about 1:30 Wednesday afternoon, Bev Williamson said she made the shocking discovery when she called the Grey Nuns Hospital - to find out her 74-year-old uncle Yvan Roy had been discharged at some point that day.
“I flipped because in his state there’s no way he could be discharged,” Williamson said.
Williamson told CTV News Roy is in need of constant care and cannot function on his own – and the hospital could not tell her where her uncle had been taken.
She spent the next two hours frantically calling a number of hospitals, RCMP and the ambulance authority to try and find him.
At 3:30 p.m. Williamson received a call, saying Roy had arrived at the Westview Centre in Stony Plain.
The issue is amplified by distance as well, since most of Roy’s family lives in the Ardrossan area – about an hour away from the Westview Care Centre.
Officials with Covenant Health, which runs the Grey Nuns Hospital, said Williamson was notified during the transfer process, before the ambulance arrived.
“A bed was available at Westview, and regional transport was contacted,” John Popowich said. “Normally that process takes a long time, and the process in this instance happened very fast.”
Health officials said Westview Centre was chosen because it could provide the level of care he needed, and it was the closest to his home address.
Popowich admitted that in such situations, it’s better to talk to the family before the transfer is made – and this case would be reviewed to ensure such a situation doesn’t occur again.
Covenant Health offered an apology to the family, but for Williamson, it’s too little, too late.
“It’s never going to take back what they’ve put him through, it’s never going to take back what I went through,” Williamson said. “You just end up a nervous wreck because you’re just so frantic.”
With files from Veronica Jubinville