Posted on May 9, 2018 by Greg MacKinnon
HARTFORD – State Representative Christie Carpino (Cromwell/Portland) announced that legislation she proposed to reform how fragile patients in state care are protected, SB 404: An Act Concerning Mandated Reporters, unanimously passed the House in concurrence with the Senate on Tuesday, May 8th.
“Inhumane treatment of people who are unable to speak for themselves is incomprehensible. The lack of oversight at Whiting Forensic led to a toxic culture that put patients and staff at risk. This bill is key to reform,” said Rep. Carpino.
Rep. Carpino spent months speaking to current and former staff members, patient advocates, reviewing documents and visiting the facility in order to speak to a patient and fashion an appropriate legislative solution.
Senate Bill 404 requires the review of complaints and discriminatory employment practices, the evaluation of operations, conditions, and culture, as well as the possibility of providing independent oversight. It also addresses mandated reporters, a suspected weak link in the abuse scandal at Whiting, and requires investigations into allegations of patient abuse.
According to Carpino, the Department of Public Health will be required to conduct an inspection of the Whiting Forensic Hospital prior to the end of the year, which will include an extensive review of its administrative records including patient complaints. The report will be presented to the legislature’s Public Health Committee, of which she is a member, and may result in additional legislative protective measures for patients.
The bill now heads to the governor’s desk to be signed into law.