Massachusetts closes state psychiatric hospital weeks after declaring it safe for patients

Massachusetts permanently closed Westwood (Mass.) Lodge, a psychiatric hospital owned by Arbour Health System in Pembroke, Mass., just four weeks after it declared the hospital safe for adult patients, according to the Boston Globe.

The Massachusetts Department of Mental Health shut down the facility on Friday citing safety lapses, despite increased oversight by the agency. All 20 adult patients at Westwood Lodge were transferred to other treatment facilities.

While a statement from the Massachusetts DMH did not disclose details of the safety lapses, an employee from the agency told the Boston Globe that a patient allegedly assaulted another patient last week.

After major mistakes halted adult and adolescent admissions to the hospital on May 12, state mental health regulators reopened admissions for adult patients on July 31. Hospital executives promised changes to increase patient safety such as filling new leadership positions, hiring additional staff, renovating patient units and improving treatment planning. Yet, despite these changes, state regulators cited critical safety issues four weeks later.

"The Department of Mental Health made the decision to close the Westwood Lodge effective August 25, 2017, due to issues of patient safety, quality of care, and the facility's failure to comply with DMH requirements," spokeswoman Daniela Trammell told the Boston Globe.

Westwood Lodge's Children's unit has been closed since April 26. 


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