Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Sex abuse of patient ignored, mom says

Janice Ambrose is trying to get her 20-year-old daughter, who has autism, out of the Delaware Psychiatric Center. Ambrose says that her daughter was sexually assaulted by another patient. Staff of the DPC have not responded to her concerns; the use of excessive force against patients has been reported by some nurses and other staff at the center.

Ambrose initially struggled to have her daughter civilly committed to the center last year; she is now working to get her out as the hospital deals with new allegations of patient abuse and mistreatment.

On a recent visit home, Ambrose noted that her daughter "was so drugged, she couldn’t chew her food," and when she visited her daughter last week at the DPC, she found that her head had been shaved. "

Yesterday's News Journal notes that reports of patient abuse, neglect or mistreatment at DPC have increased from 35 in 2001 to 119 last year. The increase, said DPC Director Susan Watson Robinson, is proof that her administration is keeping better track of such incidents. So far this year, 84 incidents have been reported.

But now that the hopsital is identifying abuse and mistreatment, what steps will it take to ensure that Ambrose’s daughter and other patients are provided with real care and treatment?

Link to full story here.