Foothill Psychiatric Facility Violated Patient Rights, Report Says
Employees at the Foothill Health and Rehabilitation Center, a private psychiatric facility, violated patient privacy rights, conducted room searches without patient permission, stole money and personal property from patients and treated the patients with disrespect, according to a Los Angeles County reported released on Friday, the Los Angeles Times reports (Richardson, Los Angeles Times, 5/3). The report came one day after officials from the county Department of Mental Health announced that they would not renew their contracts with the Foothill and Sylmar health and rehabilitation centers and that they must find new placements for 170 mentally ill patients by June 30 (California Health Line, 5/2). A majority of the violations mentioned in Friday's report occurred in one ward, unit 3. Patients complained of being "herded" into a room and kept there while employees searched patient rooms for contraband. At least eight residents said staff at the ward searched their rooms and belongings without permission and took their personal items. Some patients said their money was stolen. County officials said they were most disturbed by "the facility's recalcitrant attitude about correcting problems and improving conditions," the Times reports (Los Angeles Times, 5/3).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.