The Saint Lucia Nurses Association (SLNA) has demanded a consistent police presence at the casualty department of Victoria Hospital, following last night’s incident in which a patient who had earlier been taken to the institution with cutlass wounds, was attacked by a visitor.
“This latest incident just brings to light that the security, especially at the Accident and Emergency Department, should be heightened,” a spokesperson for the SLNA told the Times.
According to the official, hiring a security firm is insufficient especially in these critical times when violent crime is on the rise.
“We need the security officers to be properly trained and we need police assistance in the casualty department and ward nine,” the SLNA official said in an interview with the Times.
The SLNA spokesperson expressed the view that in cases where persons have been admitted to Victoria Hospital after incidents involving violent attacks, people who visit them should be searched.
“The time has come when persons who are coming in to visit, especially if we have an incident of chopping or gun violence, we need to have certain persons screened before entering the department because you have have to protect the other patients and also the staff that work there,” the official told the Times.
According to the spokesperson, there was need for a permanent presence of police officers at Victoria Hospital.
“I cannot say SSU because remember SSU are specially trained personnel, but we need some sort of permanent police presence at Victoria Hospital,” the official declared.
The comments follow last night’s cutlass attack on a patient who had been rushed to the hospital following a chopping incident at Marc.
According to reports, a man entered the casualty department with a cutlass concealed under his clothing and proceeded to attack the already wounded man, sending visitors, staff and other patients scrambling for cover.
The assailant and two other men who had accompanied him to the hospital were subsequently arrested by the police after an armed security officer at the hospital and a private citizen intervened, it is reported.