COQUITLAM — With two patients still on the lam, officials at the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital in Port Coquitlam have launched a pair of reviews into the procedures and protocols of its unescorted day-pass program.
The first internal review will look specifically at the cases of two men who recently went missing from the hospital.
The review is expected to take a couple of weeks.
In the meantime, the hospital has suspended unescorted day passes for all patients until the review is complete.
A second broader external review will take place examining the hospital’s procedures, protocols and policies compared to other forensic hospitals in the country.
The reviews come after two patients went missing from the hospital during unescorted day passes last week.
On May 24, Coquitlam RCMP issued a warrant for Gregory Owen Schleen, 49, who was last seen by a staff member at the hospital the previous morning.
He was supposed to be at the Coast Cottages on the Riverview Hospital site later in the morning but never showed up.
Just a few days earlier, a warrant was issued for David Fomradas, 34.
Fomradas is the man behind a bizarre carjacking in 2009 involving Vancouver actress Carly Pope.
In both cases, the RCMP noted the patients’ mental history and warned the public to not approach them, and instead call the police.
The two men have still not been located or returned to the hospital.
Dr. Johann Brink, director of clinical services at the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital, said he is confident the teams and committees that granted the passes followed the procedures in place, but called for the review to ensure it is documented.
When asked if the protocols should be changed in light of the two incidents, he indicated the review could identify some changes that might need to be made.
However, Brink stood by the general policy of granting unescorted day passes.
“It is our job to reintegrate people into the community, but to do it safely,” he said, adding the hospital can’t just lock up patients forever.
“We are trying to predict human behaviour. It is not easy.”
Word of the two incidents also garnered reaction from local politicians and the community.
Coquitlam Mayor Richard Stewart requested a meeting between the city and hospital officials, while the Kwikwetlem First Nation expressed its own concerns.
The band said it’s been in fear of such events since the hospital re-opened in 1997, noting several families live beside the hospital.
The band also questioned why it wasn’t informed specifically of Fomradas’ disappearance until two days later.
Brink once again reassured the community the two men are not a danger to the public.
“By the time we feel somebody is ready for unescorted access to the community, obviously we wouldn’t do that if we felt the patient was still a danger to the community,” he said.
In the case of Schleen, this is not the first time he’s gone missing from the hospital, as he also did so in 2009.