Five months after federal regulators blamed Terrell State Hospital for the death of a patient, state leaders say they are overhauling operations at the 10 psychiatric facilities in Texas.
They’re making top bosses visit patients throughout the state; regularly inspecting how well doctors are performing; and revamping the way they identify and solve problems. They also say they have tackled major deficiencies identified during two federal investigations at Terrell State Hospital, such as substandard nursing care and filthy conditions.
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WHAT WE REPORTED
The Austin American-Statesman first reported in April on the case of Ann Simmons, a woman who died at Terrell State Hospital in 2012 after being in restraints for more than two days. That report raised questions about whether those restraints contributed to her death and whether hospital officials had objectively assessed the circumstances around it. Federal regulators opened an investigation and concluded that poor medical care killed Simmons. Since then, Terrell State Hospital’s superintendent has resigned, a nurse charged with caring for the woman has been fired, and a federal investigation has found a number of other problems that are now being addressed.