Petrol junkie: Psychiatric patient runs amok damaging cars at Northdale hospital

2010-02-20 00:00

A PETROL-SNIFFING psychiatric patient, who has damaged at least three cars at Northdale Hospital, has finally been moved to Townhill Hospital.

The Witness heard from concerned sources at Northdale that the patient had opened the bonnets of cars and pulled off electrical wires and other pipes to access the petrol pipe, so he could sniff the fumes.

One source said that staff and patients remain in fear of the psychiatric patients who roam the hospital.

“They cause major stress to other patients who are already ill or stressed because they are in hospital. You get psychiatric patients frightening cardiac patients. It’s not right.”

Joyce Webster, nursing manager at Northdale, said that because Northdale Hospital is a district hospital, they admit psychiatric patients for observation for up to 72 hours and more, sometimes until they are discharged.

Webster said problems arise when Townhill Hospital does not have enough beds to accommodate transfers from Northdale.

“Due to the inadequate facilities, the psychiatric patients do wander out of the wards.”

Webster said management are aware of three staff vehicles that were tampered with by the same patient.

“… He pulls off the petrol pipe and possibly sniffs on the petrol.”

Webster said the patient was transferred to Townhill Hospital on Tuesday.

“Unfortunately, the staff whose vehicles have been tampered with will not be compensated as vehicles parked at any government institution are parked at the driver’s own risk.”


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