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Psychiatric Wards Review completed
The following is issued on behalf of the Hospital Authority:

     The Hospital Authority (HA) today (March 10) announced the results and recommendations of the review reports conducted by United Christian Hospital (UCH) and Kowloon Hospital (KH) following two incidents concerning in-patients of psychiatric wards.

     The HA spokesman said that UCH and KH in January this year separately reported to the Police incidents of alleged indecent assault involving in-patients of psychiatric wards. Following the incidents, each hospital set up an expert panel to review the ward operation and to make recommendations on improvement measures. Upon completion of the review by the panels, both UCH and KH have submitted the reports to the HA Head Office and are actively implementing the recommendations made by the panels to strengthen the operational security of the psychiatric wards. 

     The review report of UCH made the following four strategic recommendations to prevent re-occurrence of similar incidents in the psychiatric wards:

- Enrich the current assessment forms on identification of vulnerable and high-risk patients to further raise staff alertness;
- Review the information package provided to patients and families to educate on the ways that vulnerable patients could seek help immediately;
- Enhance the arrangement among psychiatric nurses on patrolling; and
- Arrange designated toilets for adolescent patients.

     After the incident, UCH immediately inspected the workflow of psychiatric wards, strengthened patrolling, enhanced the procedure of identifying and protection of vulnerable patients and set up designated toilets for adolescent patients. 

     In the KH review report, the following recommendations were proposed:

- Develop strategies and guidelines to identify and protect vulnerable groups of patients such as adolescent patients;
- Strengthen the patrolling of psychiatric wards;
- Review ward staffing arrangements to ensure adequate manpower to maintain patient safety at all times including staff meal times;
- Enhance patient education to increase their awareness in prevention of indecent assault incidents as well as responding to such incidents; and
- For long-term measures, the setting of a psychiatric ward and the arrangement for admitting adolescent patients to a psychiatric ward should be further reviewed for improvement.

     KH has already implemented enhanced measures to identify and assess vulnerable patients as well as patients with propensity to commit sexual assault, and also putting vulnerable patients in a designated ward for care and protection.

     Both UCH and KH will continue to fully co-operate and assist the Police in the investigation of the incidents and also provide support and assistance to the patients and their families.

     Furthermore, the HA is very concerned about the incidents and would like to express apologies again to the patients concerned and their families. A task force has earlier been set up by the HA to conduct a comprehensive review on the work procedures and manpower of psychiatric wards, with input and advice from overseas experts.
Ends/Friday, March 10, 2017
Issued at HKT 18:05
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