|New Jersey Hospital for the Insane, Morristown, NJ, archival photo|
A lot has been happening to the psychiatric hospitals in New Jersey in the last couple of weeks. Here is a recap of what is going on.
Trenton Has the Highest Incident Rate of NJ State Hospitals.
Given the choice to close either Trenton or Hagerdorn, Governor Chris Christie announced his decision last month (July) to close Hagedorn in June 2012. An analysis by The Express-Times of state hospital data from 2005 through 2010 shows Trenton Psychiatric Hospital recorded the highest rates of violence and patient restraint compared to New Jersey's other four state psychiatric hospitals. In 2010 alone, Trenton Psychiatric had 26 patient on patient incidents with major injury, while the other four hospitals had a total of eight. Story continues here
Greystone Patients Boycott Therapy Sessions, Protest New Rules
Nearly half of the 432 patients at Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital have signed a petition or boycotted therapy sessions this month to protest new rules they say further limit their activities and force them to attend programsthat don't help in their recovery, patients and advocacy groups say. The changes at Greystone led to the petition enumerating 17 complaints ranging from "neglect of low-functioning patients to cold food to the medicating of agitated patients instead of seeking "a resolution to the problem". The report from the Newark Star Ledger is here.
Marlboro To Recieve 3.5 Million For Improvements
Governor Christie has signed into law a piece of legislation that appropriates 3.567 million from the Clean Waters bond fund for sewerage infrastructure improvements at the former Marlboro Psychiatric Hospital. Even though the hospital is closed the sewerage treatment plant serves the New Hope facility, a new state of the art, multi million dollar addiction treatment institution. The plant's preservation will also insure the viability of any redevelopment or preservation that may happen at the site.
DMHAS Proposes To Reduce Partial Care Funding and Staff
Recent reductions in funds available to community mental health programs and to providers of Medicaid/NJ Family Care program services require reductions to existing reimbursement rates for partial care services in order to ensure that consumers can receive needed services in the most efficient and effective manner possible. Such reductions necessitate a corresponding reduction in program costs for providers of these services. Partial care programs will not receive sufficient funding to operate under current staffing ratios. Therefore, staffing adjustments must be made to ensure that the same number of consumers receive the needed services. The proposed rule is here. (As a PDF file).
My thoughts. There are five psychiatric hospitals in NJ. The worst are probably Trenton and Ancora, then Anne Klein. In a perfect world, there wouldn't be any hospitals, but if they are going to start shutting them down, Governor Christie should shut down Trenton first, and not Hagedorn. As a resident and a paying taxpayer in NJ, I would love it if the Governor could call up some type of hearing where people who have been in these places could tell the Governor what WE THE PEOPLE, we the consumers want. Have a hearing made up with people who have been there and will talk about it. Put it on the ballot in November. On the books it looks like closing Hagedorn is a good thing. But in reality, it's the best psychiatric hospital in the state. Close the hell holes first. Trenton is hell on earth, Hagedorn, isn't. If the Governor doesn't believe me, then take his car from Drumthwacket and do a road trip, it will take a total of twenty minutes. Then make an decision. That is my opinion, just my two cents.
A list of the five psychiatric hospitals with adresses and numbers to call is here as a PDF file.