Hanover Health Department serves notice on ‘illegal’ rehabilitation centre
NATALEE REID, the operator of the Rehabilitation Centre that has been operating in the Chigwell and Rejoin communities in Hanover without the consent of the Hanover Municipal Corporation (HMC), has said she is now working to bring the facility to an acceptable standard.
The rehabilitation facility, which is operating under the name Chance Rehabilitation Centre, was previously in operation in St James. However, three weeks ago, the facility was moved to Hanover, occupying premises in Chigwell and Rejoin.
In noting that the Hanover Health Department (HHD) had visited the facility to observe their operations, Reid said that certain concerns were raised and recommendations made to address the concerns. She said that they were given a timeline to address the issues and they were committed to having it done.
“The health department has visited the facility and documented its concerns, and we are working hard to remedy all the concerns highlighted,” said Reid.
As it relates to the persons being housed at what are two rented locations that comprise the centre, Reid said the residents are mostly persons with mental challenges and street people.
“Basically, it is a centre that facilitates persons with mental challenges. Some of them have been street people, who their family, for years, did not know where they were, and all of a sudden they found them, and we have been taking care of them over the years,” said Reid
“Some of these people, they only know street life. We get people who do not even know how to use the toilet effectively – we have to bring them back – how to use a spoon, a fork, how to say thank you. So this is what I have been doing,” she said.
According to Reid, the centre is funded by user fees from the relatives of the residents. She also noted that all the persons in their care are registered to the outpatient clinic at the Cornwall Regional Hospital and receive regular medication and visits from health personnel.
Quizzed as to why the operation was moved from St James to Hanover, Reid said the conditions were not ideal and they felt it was better to move to more suitable surroundings.
“I want them (the residents) to live good like everybody else because they are human beings. They are being fed and there is running water,” said Reid, who noted that it was going to take time and money to get the new facilities up to the standard recommended by the HHD so they might need to request additional time.
Interestingly, while some residents in the two areas are said to be unhappy with having the facility operating in their community, Reid said the facility had created employment for four persons from Chigwell. She also noted that the facility was now home to two mentally challenged persons from the adjoining Hopewell community.
While the HHD seems quite willing to work with the centre, once the conditions are right, it is unclear whether the HMC will do the same, especially since the facility had started operating in the parish without their permission.
“Whether it is legal or illegal is not our concern because it is not the health department that does the licensing of the facility,” said Dr Kaushal Singh, the medical officer of health in Hanover. “What we have done is visit the place, investigated, served them notice to improve on the condition where the residents are being kept, and we gave a timeline. When the timeline expires, a follow-up inspection will be done, and if it is not up to mark, they will be getting a closure notice.”