The Alberta Public Interest Commissioner (APIC) said an investigation found correctional workers were engaging in medical mistreatment of patients at the Edmonton Remand Centre (ERC). “Based on the expert report of the nursing consultant, I found that for five of the individuals identified by the whistleblower, medical staff did not provide treatment that met the requisite standard of care,” said APIC Kevin Brezinski in a Wednesday press release.“Had a whistleblower not come forward to bring these serious instances to light, the opportunity for improvement may have been missed and more patients may have found themselves at risk.” The identity and confidentiality of public sector employees wishing to report wrongdoing remains protected under Alberta’s Public Interest Disclosure Act. The APIC said a whistleblower — concerned for the health and safety of people incarcerated in the ERC — filed a complaint, alleging medical staff were failing to provide emergency care to patients in distress. Due to the complaint, APIC said it examined the medical records and treatment history of the seven people to assess allegations of inadequate healthcare leading to severe medical outcomes. To lend medical expertise, a nursing consultant was retained to review the patients’ medical records and provide an opinion on whether staff met the standard of care expected of nurses in a correctional environment in these instances. In several instances, evidence showed standards of care were not met, pain management and drug withdrawal protocols were not followed and gaps existed in the documentation of key patient vital sign records. The investigation determined a substantial and specific danger to the life, health, or safety of people — a serious wrongdoing under the Public Interest Disclosure Act. Brezinski concluded by saying Alberta Health Services (AHS) “holds a significant responsibility to provide patients in correctional facilities with the best possible medical care.” “I am encouraged by the organization’s commitment to improve the systemic issues identified in the investigation and focus on implementation of my recommendations,” he said. AHS said it appreciates the investigation completed by the APIC, but it did not say if it fired anyone. "We express our deepest sympathies to the individuals impacted by historic care concerns within the Edmonton Remand Centre," said AHS. "AHS has taken action to directly address each of the recommendations included in the report." This includes implementing new policies and required practices to monitor and record vital signs and new protocols to manage drug and alcohol withdrawal, pain management and wound care.A new nursing consultant was hired to continue to ensure updated policies and practices are in place and that practice standards are reviewed, communicated, and reassessed.