Report Alleges Physical, Sexual Abuse at Hospital

The report was part of a six-month investigation at Hartgrove psychiatric hospital

By Stefan Holt
|  Wednesday, Sep 28, 2011  |  Updated 7:34 AM CDT
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Report Alleges Abuse at Hartgrove Hospital

NBCChicago.com

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A new report from experts at the University of Chicago reveals some staff members at a Chicago psychiatric hospital have abused patients and delayed getting them medication.

The report was part of a six-month investigation at Hartgrove Hospital for the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.

Researchers found the hospital was understaffed and overcapacity. The report alleges incidents of patients attacking other patients and staff abusing patients. It said staffers were overwhelmed and undertrained when it came to serving mentally ill youth.

The reviews also reveal more than 100 violent incidents between December 2010 and June 2011, including physical attacks, threatening behavior and sexual assaults.

Some children and teens said in interviews they were even fearful for their safety.

The hospital has not returned calls for comment, but Hartgrove's parent company released a statement in response to the situation.

"Hartgrove is proud of its track record and has many more success stories to its credit than the negative ones highlighted in this report," said Universal Health Services, Inc.

Officials at the Department of Children and Family Services said they have stopped authorizing the placement of state wards at the hospital in June when the preliminary report was released.

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