HALIFAX — A human rights inquiry heard today that a Nova Scotia woman with intellectual disabilities was deemed ready to leave a psychiatric hospital but remained for 15 years due to a lack of an appropriate care home.
Beth MacLean’s repeated efforts to depart the Nova Scotia Hospital were revealed as social worker Jo-Anne Pushie told her former client’s story at the inquiry in Halifax.
The inquiry is considering whether the 46-year-old MacLean and 45-year-old Joseph Delaney should be permitted to move from hospital-like settings into small homes where assistance is provided for meals, mental health and other care.
Delaney is still at the Nova Scotia Hospital’s Emerald Hall, while MacLean was moved to a transition facility in Halifax about two years ago after she launched her human rights complaint.
Pushie testified MacLean was originally transferred to the hospital in 2000 from a facility for people with development disabilities in the Annapolis Valley on the understanding she would only be at the hospital for a year.
The social worker read from reports produced year after year by medical staff and social workers stating MacLean was ready to return to supported care in the community, along with replies from the Department of Community Services that there were no suitable place for her to go.