When state inspectors walked into the Westwood Lodge psychiatric hospital at 5 a.m. in April of last year, they found a heart-wrenching scene. Children slept on bare, plastic mattresses in filthy rooms; dust and dirt collected in the corners. When the young patients woke up, staff sat them in front of a television. Caregivers had taken away the toys and stashed them in inaccessible piles at the nurses’ station, according to the state’s report. Trash was strewn about a rancid-smelling bathroom. And when inspectors questioned the only nurse on duty, a temp, about the location of the fire alarm or even how she would evacuate her eight small charges, all 12 and younger, she did not know.
A subscription may be required to read the complete article.