Tue | Mar 2, 2021

Charles pledges action as probe launched into hospital jump

Published:Wednesday | November 18, 2020 | 12:20 AMJonielle Daley/Gleaner Writer
South East Regional Health Authority Chairman Wentworth Charles.
South East Regional Health Authority Chairman Wentworth Charles.

An investigation has been launched by the South East Regional Health Authority(SERHA) into the bizarre account of a patient leaping from the third floor of the Princess Margaret Hospital in St Thomas on Saturday, November 7.

The patient, 41-year-old Welton Thomas, suffered injuries and died at the Kingston Public Hospital three days later.

An autopsy has been ordered.

Dr Melecia Linton, chief executive officer of Princess Margaret, said that she was unable to speak in detail because the hospital was still carrying out investigations into the incident.

But Wentworth Charles, chairman of SERHA, told T he Gleaner on Tuesday that he has requested that the board be provided with a full report on the matter because “immediate steps will have to be taken to ensure the safety of the patients who come to our hospitals and having regard to the nature of the illness that they may be experiencing”.

He stated that as soon as the report is produced, “a determination will be made by the board to ensure that steps are taken to avoid any repetition and to hold management accountable for the neglect of duties or responsibilities in regards to the situation”.

The report is expected to be presented by Thursday.

Charles also expressed condolences to the family and friends of Thomas.

The woodworker was reported by family to be acting strange but had not been clinically diagnosed for mental illness.

Hospital authorities have belatedly filed a report of the incident to the Morant Bay Police Station, Superintendent Allison Byfield has confirmed.

Up to five days after Thomas reportedly jumped from the building, the Morant Bay Police Station had not been made aware of the incident until Gleaner queries were directed to the police.

Since then, the police have also launched a probe into the incident.

jonielle.daley@gleanerjm.com