'Cuckoo's Nest' Hospital Cited by Feds, yup "that" one

MJMANDALAY

Registered User
Jan 26, 2005
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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- Mental patients at the Oregon State Hospital, the setting for "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," were exposed to threats ranging from infectious outbreaks to patient-on-patient assaults, according to a Justice Department report released Wednesday.

The report, based on an investigation in 2006, found several horror stories from Oregon's primary adult psychiatric facility. A patient with a disorder that causes excessive thirst was left at the water fountain and gained 13 pounds in water weight in one day. Another patient was kept in seclusion for a year with no other treatment when investigators arrived.

There were nearly 400 cases of patient-against-patient assault over a year and cases of patients injuring themselves, including multiple suicide attempts, while under staff observation.

Mice were found in rooms, and outbreaks of norovirus and scabies were reported, according to the report.

Officials found the violations at the main hospital in Salem and at its smaller Portland campus, which is used for psychiatric rehabilitation. The crumbling, century-old facility in Salem was the setting for the 1975 film "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" starring Jack Nicholson.

State health officials say many improvements have been made since the investigation took place, but they acknowledged problems still exist.

"The conditions reported on ... are completely unacceptable," said Dr. Bruce Goldberg, director of Oregon's Department of Human Services. "It's unacceptable as a state, and it's unacceptable for us as a state hospital for the health and well-being of our patients."

But, he added, "It's not the same hospital today that it was in 2006."

The report makes recommendations but does not set timelines to complete them. State-commissioned reports also have found major health and safety dangers at the hospital.

A spokeswoman for Gov. Ted Kulongoski said the governor takes the findings seriously but is pleased with progress made since the 2006 investigation.

The Oregon Legislature last year authorized $458 million to build two new state-operated hospitals by 2013: a 620-bed hospital in Salem and 360-bed facility in Junction City. The hospital also hired a new chief medical officer and additional staff.

Oregon Senate President Peter Courtney said he will create a legislative oversight committee to monitor progress toward compliance with the Department of Justice's recommendations.

"In my opinion, this is the No. 1 issue for Oregonians today," he said.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness of Oregon said it wants a comprehensive review of the entire mental health system so the 2009 Legislature will know how to respond.

The state Department of Human Services will request additional positions from the to improve patient care and safety.

"This is a symptom of years of neglect to our entire mental health system," Goldberg said.
 

Budyzir

There's nothing quite like a shorn scrotum.
Nov 12, 2004
7,307
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Queens, NY
#2
Nutz, and I always thought it would be fun to take an extended vacation in one of these places. Walk around in your PJs and a robe all day, do arts and crafts while taking various pharmaceuticals, what more could you want! :D
 

Budyzir

There's nothing quite like a shorn scrotum.
Nov 12, 2004
7,307
1
0
Queens, NY
#4
Is there any psych hospital that's full of problems? It seems like every looney bin is just an awful place to be.
Remember, most of these stories are about public institutions, I'm guessing the high end private ones are much more relaxing and stock better pharmaceuticals. :D