Group Calls for Probe of Riverside County Mental Health Center
A mental illness advocacy group in Riverside County on Thursday called for an investigation of the county's mental health inpatient facility after a grand jury report cited poor patient care and management, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reports.
Diana Kraft of Riverside's National Alliance for the Mentally Ill said her group also plans to launch a probe of the county's Department of Mental Health.
The report documented 33 problems with the facility's patient care and management that led to crowding and substandard care and safety. The grand jurors found that managers:
- Disregard physicians' orders;
- Do not report patient deaths and injuries; and
- Understate patient symptoms to get them released or transferred.
Kraft said the findings of the grand jury report are a "rude awakening."
Sherry Skidmore, a member of the county Mental Health Board, said funding cuts could have caused some of the problems at the facility, including staffing shortfalls and patient care.
The county's Board of Supervisors has 90 days to respond to the report.
Lea Brooks -- spokesperson for the California Department of Public Health, which licenses the facility -- said the agency was not aware of the grand jury report. She did not say whether inspectors would investigate (Hines, Riverside Press-Enterprise, 7/5).