PORT COQUITLAM (NEWS1130) – It’s been five years since a mental health patient in Coquitlam got a day pass and never returned; he’s just one of at least two people still unaccounted for from two local facilities.
A review on unauthorized absences at one of the hospitals has the NDP health critic concerned.
It was ordered last spring with a rash of patients granted day passes at Colony Farm failed to return on time (in one case not at all) and, at that time, hospital outings were suspended.
The report was completed a few months later and everything returned to normal but NDP Health Critic and Port Coquitlam MLA Mike Farnworth wasn’t given the details. He just wants to make sure the facility follows through on recommendations.
“Identify what recommendations have been made and make sure those recommendations have been implemented,” he tells News1130, “and that staff receive appropriate training, and that any changes in procedures are actually followed through on so we don’t actually have people walking away or being unaccounted for.”
Of the more than 19,000 day passes granted at Colony Farm since 2010, 44 people didn’t return when they were supposed to, though it’s been happening less each year.
“People understand that it’s a hospital,” Farnworth adds, “but at the same time it’s supposed to be a secure facility.”
We know at least two people are still missing from area facilities. David Fomradas from Colony Farm was linked to a 2009 car-jacking involving TV actress Carly Pope.
In June 2008, 48 year-old Donald John Bonner never returned to his room at the nearby Riverview Hospital.
Coquitlam Mounties couldn’t give an exact figure on how many open files they still have regarding mental health facilities in the city.