The controversial transfer of nurse Clarissa Christopher, the matron of the Fiennes Institute, which should have taken effect on September 1, is still being finalised.
She returned to work from vacation leave yesterday and continued to function in her old post as opposed to having to take up responsibilities as Matron of Correctional Institutes.
This newspaper was reliably informed that the
senior nursing official will remain at Fiennes pending further instructions from the Public Service Commission (PSC) and the Establishment Department, both government departments tasked with finalising her recent transfer from the indigent care home to a new post.
Christopher is expected to take on direct responsibility for inmates at Her Majesty’s Prison, residents of the Boys Training School and the Sunshine Home for Girls.
The transfer, that has angered the executive of the
Antigua and Barbuda Nurses Association, of which nurse Christopher is a member, was made by a Cabinet decision with effect September 1.
The Association has argued that Cabinet had no authority to make such a transfer, noting that both the PSC and the Establishment Department has to be consulted before a nurse is transferred from one department to another, and in nurse Christopher’s case, this was not done.
The association also described the transfer as a deliberate act of victimisation and called on the two government agencies “to do the right thing” by not approving the transfer.
Meanwhile, Health Minister Molwyn Joseph, stated a week ago that he was not supportive of the decision taken by the nurses.
The minister noted
that he viewed the transfer as a promotion outlining that inmates and juveniles should have adequate access to proper healthcare regardless of their circumstances.