Hughes Center patient "deceived" into taking previously refused anti-psychotic medication

The Hughes Center was cited by the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS) for deficiencies related to staff qualifications, patient rights, structured program of care, and facility maintenance. Upon a records review, the DBHDS found that one facility employee did not meet the qualifications to serve as a Mental Health Counselor at the time of hire. The employee’s application did not reflect any work experience with children at the time of hire, even though the job description “requires the applicant to have two years experience with children and adolescents or related course work and previous experience with the ID or DD populations.” DBHDS also determined that another employee had “deceived” a patient into taking Loxapine, an anti-psychotic medication, which the patient did not want to take and had previously refused. After the medication was administered to the patient and achieved the desired results, the employee admitted the deception to the patient. DBHDS wrote that the employee’s actions “violated individual’s right to participate meaningfully in the decisions regarding all aspects of services.” DBHDS also found that an employee had witnessed a patient engaging in self injurious behavior by banging his head on the concrete side walk and did not intervene. DBHDS noted that the failure to intervene “constitutes neglect.” DBHDS also cited the facility for not providing a structured program of care that meets physical and emotional needs of its residents. DBHDS found that there is no coordination of services between therapists and mental health counselors. Specifically, one patient’s goals/techniques developed in therapy were not communicated to mental health counselors to ensure consistency in treatment. DBHDS also revealed that the facility is not providing structured leisure activities for patients. Lastly, DBHDS inspectors found dressers missing drawers, a dirty supply closet with broken recreational supplies, and several shower curtains hanging off certain sections. The facility submitted a plan of correction to address the cited deficiencies including retraining staff on patient rights and medication documentation regulations.