Accusations of Sexual Abuse Not Promptly Investigated

Old Vineyard Behavioral Health was cited by the Division of Health Service Regulation for failing to initiate an immediate investigation after an allegation of sexual abuse and failed to increase monitoring to protect other patients. Two 16-year-old female patients reported to staff that they had been sexually abused by their roommate while sedated by medication, and were upset. Their therapist was told about the incidents but did not initiate an incident report or notify the administration, risk management or the Deptartment of Social Services (DSS). In an interview their therapist said, “I wanted to make sure everybody was safe. I didn’t believe it happened.”

The allegedly abusive patient’s records indicated “sexual acting out” behaviors and yet her treatment plan was not amended to address these alleged  incidents. She was ordered to be placed in a room without roommates, but the facility began to room her with other patients again after a few days, claiming there was no choice. One of the patient’s roommates after the incidents stated that she did not feel comfortable or feel safe sharing a room with this patient, but had been told “there was no one else that could be roommates with her and that she was the only one who could do it, so she had to.”