CRANSTON, R.I. (WPRI) – The state has begun a review of leadership at the troubled Eleanor Slater Hospital after another incident where a psychiatric patient was able to harm themselves.
A patient at the Benton facility in Cranston – an arm of the state-run Eleanor Slater system – attempted to overdose on pills over the weekend and required hospitalization, the Target 12 Investigators have learned.
State officials aren’t providing details about the incident, but Randal Edgar, a spokesperson for the R.I. Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Development Disabilities and Hospitals, confirmed they are investigating “an incident.”
“The Rhode Island Department of Health, acting as an agent of [Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Servives], is currently investigating an incident involving patient self-harm at the Roosevelt Benton unit of ESH,” Edgar said in an email. “It is the hospital’s responsibility to ensure that strategies and procedures are in place to protect all patients. Following the most recent incident at the Benton facility, Director [Richard] Charest is assessing the performance of both the Benton staff and current leadership. Accountability at all levels is important to ensuring that the safety and needs of patients are being met.”
Edgar did not immediately respond to a request for the patient’s current condition.
The latest incident comes after a patient at the facility attempted to remove their own eye with a spoon, and another patient who swallowed part of a razor in October.
The Providence Journal first reported the latest case.
The Benton facility serves the hospital’s so-called “forensic psych” patients, who are people that have been ordered there through the state’s courts system for mental health reasons. There are typically about 50 patients living there at any given time, according to BHDDH documents shared with lawmakers earlier this year.
The state-run hospital has become the focus of intense scrutiny throughout this year because of its money woes, deteriorating buildings and problematic work environment. That scrutiny includes an ongoing investigation into patient care and billing practices by R.I. Attorney General Peter Neronha.
Eli Sherman contributed to this report.