Posted May 15, 2017
CRNBC on May 15, 2017, suspended Catherine York of Fort St. James, B.C. for failing to immediately report and effectively establish protective measures when she became aware of incidents of sexual assault committed against vulnerable elderly residents by another elderly resident in the facility where she was working. The incidents occurred between March and September 2015 at the Stuart Nechako Manor in Vanderhoof, B.C.
Upon receiving this complaint in September 2015, CRNBC immediately launched a thorough investigation. Upon completion of the investigation, the Inquiry Committee requested a six-month suspension, as well as requiring Ms. York complete additional education related to conduct and competence.
CRNBC Inquiry Committee approved a consent agreement on April 19, 2017, between CRNBC and Ms. York setting out the above requirements. While she is suspended, Ms. York is not authorized to work as a registered nurse nor may she use the title RN, nurse or registered nurse.
Nurses are reminded they have a legal duty to prevent foreseeable risk of harm to any patient in their facilities, and in particular any person who is vulnerable because of a mental and/or physical disabilities. Normalizing sexual assaults or other types of abuse and looking the other way is completely unacceptable. Elder abuse includes actions that cause physical, mental or sexual harm, as well as financial exploitation. Potential signs of abuse include unexplained injuries, fear, anxiety, and unusual financial activity.
Abuse may be a crime and fall under the Criminal Code. Call your local police station for information or to report abuse. If you or someone is in immediate danger, call 9-1-1.
If you observe a nurse or other health professional failing to report abuse or not meeting their professional obligations, consider submitting a
complaint to CRNBC or their
respective regulatory college.
If you're not sure who to contact consult the B.C. government's resource:
Responding to Elder Abuse: Who to call, when and why
The newly named
Seniors First BC, formerly the BC Centre for Elder Advocacy and Support, offers a toll-free helpline for older adults, and those who care about them, to talk to someone about situations where they feel they are being abused or mistreated, or to receive information about elder abuse prevention.
Seniors Abuse Information Line (SAIL) is available 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week, excluding statutory holidays: