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Forensic Psychiatric Hospital Improvements

We are implementing a comprehensive 18-month action plan to improve safety, operations and patient care at the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital in Coquitlam, the only facility of its kind in British Columbia.

External review of Forensic Psychiatric Hospital leads to action plan

All Forensic Psychiatric Hospital patients and clients are referred to us by the courts or BC Corrections, and we provide them with psychiatric assessment, treatment and rehabilitation. Our goal is to restore their fitness to stand trial or reintegrate them into their communities while ensuring public safety.

Our clients and patients are the most severely mentally ill people in the province. All live with complex mental health issues, most often a psychotic disorder such as schizophrenia. For many patients, this is combined with a mood disorder such as post-traumatic stress disorder, or a personality disorder that makes them anxious, paranoid or fearful. Most have also experienced trauma.

All of these factors can make our patients and clients prone to disruptive behaviour. Providing them with the most effective care and treatment while ensuring everyone's safety and security requires a highly specialized and trained interdisciplinary team of staff and physicians.

To address our unique challenges and improve the effectiveness of our services, our vice-president, Lynn Pelletier, commissioned a comprehensive external review in the spring of 2018. This led to the establishment of a new hospital leadership team and the development of our 2018-2020 Forensic Psychiatric Hospital Action Plan.

Forensic Psychiatric Hospital Action Plan highlights

The goals of the action plan are as follows:

  • Improve patient, staff and public safety
  • Improve clinical service delivery and patient-centred care
  • Strengthen and integrate leadership, inter-disciplinary teamwork and professional development

Five safety actions:

We announced five immediate actions in September 2018 as part of the action plan:

  • Hire additional security officers and enhance their training.
  • Establish new teams of clinical-security staff who specialize in safety at secure hospitals.
  • Expand orientation and training for all staff in emergency response as well as therapeutic and relational security, which teaches staff to be acutely aware of their surroundings and build a deep rapport with and understanding of patients in order to anticipate, de-escalate and prevent aggression.
  • Increase 24/7 supervision and leadership.
  • Hire additional staff for better patient care.

Other action plan highlights:

  • Further invest in staff training and safety and security procedures
  • Improve reporting systems
  • Reduce environmental risks
  • Facilitate improved facility maintenance
  • Conduct patient-needs assessments    
  • Evaluate and review our current care model and align it with patient needs
  • Expand trauma-informed practice
  • Improve reporting to the BC Review Board
  • Maximize resources and efficiency related to patient assessment, communication and flow
  • Develop and implement provincial forensic mental-health guidelines and standards
  • Improve documentation and records
  • Clarify leadership roles and responsibilities and improve committee effectiveness
  • Improve employee engagement
  • Generate staff core competencies and invest in professional development

Progress updates on the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital action plan





If you are a staff member of BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services and have a question about the improvements at the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital, please email us.

SOURCE: Forensic Psychiatric Hospital Improvements ( )
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