Patients at San Francisco hospital abused, neglected, investigation shows

Bay Area

At a news conference Friday afternoon, San Francisco’s Director of Public Health announced an investigation has determined 23 dementia patients at Laguna Honda Hospital were mistreated by six staff members between 2016 and January of this year. 

The patients range in age from 30 to 100 and the mistreatment includes from verbal and physical abuse to neglect to violations of privacy and the dispensing of medication that was not prescribed.

“We are better than this,” said San Francisco Mayor London Breed. “We are committed to restoring the trust of the patients and the families at Laguna Honda.”

Breed says her grandmother was dementia patient Laguna Honda during her later years.  

She was joined in her outrage by Board of Supervisors President Norman Yee.

“This is personal to me, I have had family stay there, I have friends whose parents are being cared for,” Yee said. “For this to occur to occur on our watch, I don’t have the words to express how upset I am.”

Laguna Honda is a skilled nursing and rehab facility owned and operated by the City and County of San Francisco.  

The misconduct was uncovered in February of this year, during the course of a separate public health department investigation.  

A plan for moving forward is now in the works, but changes have already been made. 

Laguna Honda’s CEO and chief quality officer have been removed from their posts and the six staff members implicated have been fired. 

Patients have been notified and reexamined, drug dispensing practices have been improved and staff has been retrained

“In the context, these employees were working there was a culture of silence, we need to move from a culture of silence to a culture of safety,” said Grant Colfax, San Francisco director of Public Health. 

Three investigations are now underway, one by the city attorney, the state department of public health and the city’s department of public health.

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