Statement regarding London Health Sciences Centre’s Flagging and Management of Patient, Family and Visitor Risk for Violent Behaviour Policy


For immediate release

November 13, 2018


In May of this year, London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) implemented a revised policy regarding the screening and flagging of patients with the potential for violence as a requirement of a negotiated settlement with the Ontario Labour Relations Board. The policy applies to all patients at LHSC. Inpatients in all services, Emergency Department and all mental health service patients are screened for risk of violence at the time of admission or visit. Outpatients in all other services are screened if they have been previously flagged, or if concerns of risk present in the waiting areas.


Per the updated policy, once a patient has been flagged for a risk of violence, LHSC is required to communicate this risk to others. This is most frequently achieved via an armband, though patients have the right to refuse to wear the armband. If an armband is refused, the care team will assess the individual circumstances and determine what alternate means they will use to visually communicate the risk to others while taking care to ensure the integrity of the therapeutic relationship with the patient is maintained. Patients also have the right to appeal a flag at any time by contacting Patient Relations.


LHSC is compelled to enforce use of the screening tool in this manner, and we are continuing to work with staff and physicians to ensure understanding of the policy and its application. We also continue to listen to our patients and their families, and work meaningfully with our care teams to determine what steps can be taken to address any concerns, while still honouring the terms of the settlement agreement and upholding our commitment to ensuring the safety of all individuals receiving care, working at, or visiting LHSC.


Susan Nickle

EVP and Chief People Officer 

London Health Sciences Centre