North Carolina Inspectors Say Patient Abuse and Neglect Make Butner Mental Hospital Unsafe

December 3, 2008, by Michael A. DeMayo

A North Carolina mental hospital in Butner is considered unsafe for patients. North Carolina inspectors who had evaluated the conditions and quality of care at Central Regional Hospital say their findings show an “immediate jeopardy” identification. This means that the hospital’s patients could be in imminent danger if the problems that were identified are not remedied. Already, the new $138 million facility has been cited with multiple violations and is in danger of losing its federal funding.

Inspectors cited the hospital staff for its failure to prevent patient abuse and neglect and failure to provide the proper care in a safe environment. A 131-page report even noted that there is video footage showing workers falsifying records to indicate that they had closely monitored a patient with schizophrenia when this, in fact, was not the case.

The inspectors also criticized the mental hospital for improperly restraining an 8-year-old for two hours. Another problem noted at Central Regional Hospital was that a stairwell door at the home could not be unlocked from the inside, which could potentially trap hospital staffers and patients in the facility during an emergency.

Federal regulators say the hospital has until December 14 to correct all violations. The state of North Carolina had hoped to transfer patients at a Raleigh hospital it was planning to shut down to the Butner facility. Now, these plans will likely have to be modified.

In a little over 12 months, four of North Carolina’s state-run mental hospitals have either lost or have been on the verge of losing their accreditation because of patient abuse and neglect incidents, as well as patient deaths. This summer, a fifth North Carolina mental facility was shut down after workers strapped down a female patient and beat her.

There is no excuse for patient abuse or neglect, whether at a hospital, a nursing home, in the sick person’s home, or anywhere else. If you believe that your loved one is the victim of patient abuse or neglect, it is important that you take steps to remove them from the unsafe environment immediately. Failure to provide the proper patient care at a hospital could be grounds for a North Carolina medical malpractice or wrongful death lawsuit.

Mental hospital deemed unsafe, News & Observer, December 3, 2008

Central Regional another signal of troubled system,, December 3, 2008

Related Web Resources:
CMS Report 1 (PDF)

CMS Report 2 (PDF)


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