Mass departure of nurses in the psychiatric department of CHUL

No less than a dozen nurses will leave the psychiatric department of the CHUL in September, learned Le Soleil. It seems that the chronic overflow and overwork related to the closure of beds in psychiatry are not unrelated to this massive departure.
“There is a lot of that, and also the impossibility to access day jobs,” said a source, who said the dozen nurses who leave their position in psychiatry at CHUL will remain in the Center integrated health and social services (CIUSSS) of the Capitale-Nationale (which is psychiatry since 2015), but will mostly work in CLSC and rehabilitation.

“We lack a lot of people [in psychiatry]. We have been on TSO [mandatory overtime] for several months and nothing is being done to make it better. We are being forced to fill out more complex forms to complete, which means less time for our patients. Emergencies overwhelm and beds are closed without knowing why. We are sent cases that should be admitted to the medico-legal IUSMQ [University Institute of Mental Health of Quebec], “denounces our source.

According to her, the departure of the 12 nurses is likely to generate “a problem” whose patients “will once again pay the price”.

Since the closing of the eight beds of the psychiatric emergency of the Hôpital du Saint-Sacrement in November, and then of its 44 hospitalization beds in psychiatry in June, the psychiatric emergencies of the CHUL and the Hôpital de l’Enfant- Jesus overflows “without stopping”. “We have the highest rates of entry and exit ever seen,” we are told.

When it overflows, the psychiatric emergency of the Child Jesus must sometimes close its doors and redirect patients to the CHUL, itself overcapacity. According to our source, the psychiatric emergency of the CHUL would have already been with 30 patients, while its capacity is 13 stretchers. “The others are in the corridor of the physical emergency,” she says.

The closure of the psychiatric department of the Hôpital du Saint-Sacrement was part of the plan to reorganize mental health CIUSSS of the Capitale-Nationale, which aims to develop more services in the community and to focus psychiatry at the CHUL , at the Enfant-Jésus Hospital (ultimately Saint-François d’Assise) and at the University Institute of Mental Health of Quebec (IUSMQ).

For the region, we went from 26 to 23 stretchers to the psychiatric emergency (CHUL and the Child Jesus). As for the psychiatric hospital beds, about 327 beds there were in Quebec at 1 st April 2017, it will remain more than 257 at the CHUL and IUSMQ the 1 st April 2021. At the Currently, several hospital units at CHUL and IUSMQ are in overcapacity.

No link, according to the CIUSSS

The CIUSSS of the Capitale-Nationale does not make any connection between the departure of the 12 CHUL nurses and the conditions that prevail in psychiatry.

“This is a movement seen across the CIUSSS, in all directions, with the merger of 54 accreditations [there are now only four trade union accreditations at CIUSSS]. This is a first posting in this context, and it creates an opportunity for staff to reorient themselves. Everyone has their reasons for wanting to work elsewhere; it may be to get closer to home, or to have a day job or part time, for example. We can not make generalities about their reasons for leaving or make a link of cause and effect, “said a spokesperson for CIUSSS, Annie Ouellet.

But for the union (FIQ) care professionals of the National Capital, “when there are several who leave, there are questions to ask.” “It’s a demanding job, where staff are regularly overworked and overworked, where the TSO is done on a regular basis,” says union vice-president Pierre-Olivier Bradet, who says the closure of beds in psychiatry had a “domino effect”.

Earlier in August, Le Soleil reported on the experience of Simon Pichette, a bipolar young man who, like 600 other patients, ended up without a psychiatrist this spring and was hospitalized three times in the same year. psychiatry between July 6th and August 12th.

The third time, Simon Pichette stayed nearly a week in the psychiatric emergency of the CHUL, for lack of available beds. “It’s been counter-productive for my mental health. It is impossible to sleep well, you are constantly disturbed by external factors, it lacks psychiatrists, the staff is overwhelmed, “he testified.

A stable situation”

According to the spokesperson of CIUSSS, the situation in psychiatric emergencies would be “stable, especially for three weeks”.

“Just like in physical emergencies, psychiatric emergencies can experience peaks in ridership, for a variety of reasons, depending on the number of people in the population. When that happens, we add resources […] and we use additional beds, “says Annie Ouellet.

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