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Vt. lawmakers get update on Brattleboro Retreat

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 26, 2013 at 7:32 pm •  Published: March 26, 2013

Albert agreed with lawmakers that the incident should have been reported to the state division of Adult Protective Services, but said that did not happen in a timely manner. Rather, he said, staff on the unit decided to assess the complaint.

A staff note said the patient "reports recent sexual activity. Unclear if (patient) claim is real or delusional."

Albert said staff were told, "It's not your job to assess." Instead, the report should have been referred for assessment by state inspectors, he said.

A second incident involved an adolescent patient who threw something at a mental health worker and was taken by the arm and led into a seclusion room.

Referrals for seclusion should be made by more senior personnel, Albert said. He called the worker's reaction "more of a knee-jerk reaction than actually anything clinically appropriate to help de-escalate the situation."

A third incident noted in the deficiencies involved a patient with both physical and mental health problems who was given medical treatment against his or her will.

Albert said the hospital was working on a corrective action plan, but could not provide a specific date when it would be complete.

Some committee members expressed displeasure at what they said was a lack of complete information.

"We always get the (public relations) person from the Retreat and not the clinical people, which is what other hospitals send when there are issues about clinical treatment," said Rep. Anne Donahue, R-Northfield.

Albert said in a later interview that while he is the Retreat's vice president for government relations, he also is a trained clinical social worker.