Cornwall Regional Hospital hosting a 'crazy penthouse'

May 09, 2017
Cornwall Regional Hospital

Western Bureau:

Based on its central location and the panoramic view it offers of Montego Bay, the psychiatric ward on the 10th floor at the Cornwall Regional Hospital (CRH), could be described as a 'crazy penthouse'.

In addition, with free meals, a secure place to sleep and a venue to play dominoes all day, it is no wonder the 'social patients' (persons who have been discharged but have refused to leave), are clinging to the luxury of their elevated view, which spans exotic sites such as the Freeport Estate, and Rose Hall.

While the situation is not something that the hospital's administration relishes, according to consultant psychiatrist, Dr Lisabeth Crossman-Nugent, not much can be done.

As it relates to 'social patients' leaving the hospital, Crossman-Nugent said there is a procedure that must be followed.




"From admission, we start planning for discharge, and the plan for discharge is to notify relatives and get them on board, because for all patients that are admitted, we do have what we call a family meeting before they are discharged back to their communities," said Crossman-Nugent. "So there is every effort made to notify relatives and get them on board; so patients are not just discharged like that."

Responding to reports that the occupants of the psychiatric ward spend their days playing of dominoes (workers joke some are good enough to play competitively) and enjoying the fresh breeze, Crossman-Nugent noted that social amenities help in the rehabilitation process.

"Rehabilitation comes in several forms, and we have different ways of rehabilitating the patients," she said. "When you think of health, you don't only think of mental illness, but all other aspects of health, and so we think about their physical health as well. A patient told me that this is 100 per cent better ... they still have access to dominoes, they still have one-on-one counselling."

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