AHS admits mistakes in hospital suicide


The father of a man who killed himself in an Edmonton hospital last year is welcoming upcoming changes aimed at preventing similar tragedies.

In September, Shayne Hay checked himself into the emergency ward at Royal Alexandra Hospital, telling staff he was suicidal.

Twelve hours later, still in hospital without receiving treatment or being given access to the counselling he had asked for repeatedly, Hay wrote a suicide note and hanged himself with a strap on his backpack.

Alberta Health Services (AHS) has confirmed recommendations for improvement have been shared with the family, but a spokesperson said they would "not be discussing the recommendations further at this time."

"They certainly are making quite a few changes, and they told us they'd like us to come in and have a look at the place again," said Hay's father, Roy Woolsey.

Woolsey said he and his wife met with the medical director of the hospital and AHS's executive director of mental health at the end of January.

"They admitted that there were lots of mistakes made. They said, for one thing, when they changed psychiatrists, he forgot to point out where Shayne was and what condition he was in."

Hay's parents have raised money to erect volleyball courts in their hometown of Fawcett, Alta., in their son's honour, a game they say he loved to play.