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September 7, 2011 permalink
In August Chris Carter addressed some questions to the Cambridge Memorial Hospital. Yesterday Mr Carter posted the answers to Facebook from Stephan Beckhoff representing the hospital. Two interesting answers:
Chris Carter Back in mid-August I posted an August 17/11 letter I had written to the Cambridge Memorial Hospital (CMH) re: CA$ issues (apprehensions of babies from the hospital, child abuse investigations begun based on referrals from the hospital, registration of social workers, etc...)
Well, I just received a response from the CMH's "senior communications specialist" to that email today.
It contains some good information.
Here it is:
Mr. Carter –
I would like to thank you for your patience. Below are the answers to your questions. Please contact me if you have any other questions.
Stephan Beckhoff, MA
Senior Communications Specialist
Cambridge Memorial Hospital
700 Coronation Blvd.• Cambridge, ON • N1R 3G2
P - 519-621-2333 ext 2427
F - 519-740-4934
“Building a Healthier Community”
Currently does the CMH keep records in regards to:
i) the apprehension of babies from the hospital by Children's Aid Society (CAS) workers (specifically the numbers/quarter and the stated reason(s) that the apprehension was necessary),
ii) child abuse investigations which originate via a hospital referral to the CAS?
CMH does not keep records for both items i) and ii). It may be more appropriate to send this request to Family and Children’s Services or CAS.
Acknowledging the need for redactions, are those CMH records currently available to be requested and obtained by the public?
These are not available because this information is part of a patient’s health record. Unless directed by the patient or substitute decision maker, all Ontario hospitals are required by law to keep a patient’s health record private and confidential.
With the full imposition of Bill 122 beginning in Jan. 2011, will those records (including the preceding five years' records) be available to be requested and obtained by the public?
This would not qualify as a Freedom of Information request, because the request is to access information that is part of a patient’s health record. This is strictly excluded from Bill 122. Unless directed by the patient or substitute decision maker, all Ontario hospitals are required by law to keep a patient’s health record private and confidential.
i) Are all social workers employed by the CMH required to be registered as Registered Social Workers (RSW) with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers?
Yes – all social workers employed at CMH have to be registered with their college.
ii) If so, is that a requirement established by legislation or a CMH by-law or some other mechanism?
Social workers and 20 other health professions are regulated through Ontario’s Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991. It is a common standard for hospitals to employ regulated health professionals who are registered with their college. But, it is up to the agency to set their employment standards.
i) As policy, does the CMH require that the CAS workers who apprehend babies from those mothers/parents/families who choose the CMH as the hospital in which to give birth to their babies, also be RSWs?
ii) As policy, does the CMH require that the CAS workers who conduct child protection investigations at the CHM based on child abuse referrals originating from the CMH be RSWs?
For both points i) and ii), CMH is directed by government to cooperate with other government agencies. CMH has no influence on the hiring practices of any external agency. Besides a duty to cooperate, CMH must verify the identity, but not the credentials of the agency appointed caregiver if the child is not being discharged to parents.
Does the CMH allow citizens to apply to be allowed to present to the Board re: relevant issues?
To help promote transparency to the community, the Board of Directors meeting is open to the public and all are welcome to observe how CMH is governed. These meetings are focused on the business aspects of running a hospital; it is not designed as a public open forum. However, there is a mechanism by which the public or interested agencies can make a presentation.
The board has a policy for persons wishing to address it regarding governance, policy matters in relation to the hospital’s vision, mission, values and directional plan. There is an application process, but submitting one does not guarantee the request will be accepted. This policy is not yet posted to our website. I’ve attached it for your convenience.
In regards to answer #6 here is the policy which the CMH's "communication specialist" forwarded to me:
SUBJECT: Procedure for Members of the Public Addressing the Board or Board Committee
SECTION: Board Processes APPROVED BY: Board
DATE: March 30, 2011 REVISED/REVIEWED:
Persons wishing to address the board concerning matters relevant to the hospital must do so following the procedure outlined below.
- Delegations wishing to make a presentation to the board regarding governance and policy matters in relation to the hospital’s vision, mission, values, and directional plan are invited to do so. To protect confidentiality, presentations and questions about an individual’s care are not permitted.
- Application to appear before the board or a committee of the board may be made by contacting the CEO’s office (519-621-2333 ext. 2350) and completing a Delegation Application Form (attached).
- The Delegation Application Form together with a written description of the specific matter to be addressed will be received no later than 10 working days prior to the meeting date or received by an alternate date at the discretion of the chair. If a group wishes to make a submission, a spokesperson for the group is to be identified.
- Requests to address the board on a specific item will be granted (generally in order of the receipt of the application) at the discretion of the chair of the board. The chair of the board may request that the matter be referred or redirected as appropriate. Persons or groups not permitted to address the board shall be so notified.
- The chair is not obligated to grant a request to address the board. The board is not obligated to respond to, or take any action on the presentation it receives.
- The board may limit the number of presentations at any one meeting.
- Delegations addressing the board will be required to limit their remarks to their allotted time.
- Board members may ask questions of clarification following the presentation.
I hope this information is helpful.