And despite state and federal rules about how hospitals report serious injuries, Hill Crest filed no documents regarding an adult patient who died the day after being restrained by staff members.The most shocking of these incidents — in which children, some so vulnerable that the state has placed them in the care of a special institution, are physically abused by the very people who are supposed to be caring for them — are captured on closed-circuit video.
The crutches fall at Vice’s side as Doughty spins him around against the wall and then pushes him down to the floor.
Briefly, Vice lifts himself onto his hands and knees, but Doughty grabs him around the middle and, with the help of another worker, hauls Vice into a nearby room — and out of the camera’s view.
Other main stories in the series include: Locked On The Psych Ward A Six-Year-Old Gets Locked Up The Dark Side Of Shadow Mountain and related video Nothing To See Here Hayden Vice was walking down the hallway of the psychiatric hospital when a mental health technician instructed him to go take a shower.
Pausing on his crutches, the 15-year-old patient replied that a nurse had told him not to get the cast on his lower leg wet.
About a third of its revenues come from taxpayer dollars.
But the company, which has been the subject of an ongoing, two-year Buzz Feed News investigation, is under increasing scrutiny by state and federal agencies for a litany of allegations: holding patients until their insurance runs out, regardless of actual medical need; inadequate staffing and training that endangers both employees and patients; and physical abuse of patients.But interviews with current and former workers, as well as patients, reveal that training is so cursory and staffing levels are so low as to be dangerous.Not all employees said they witnessed abuse, and many said they did the best they could, even spending their own money on snacks for patients when the hospital was in short supply.Portions of the videos are presented here as Buzz Feed News received them, though some of the individuals’ faces have been obscured.Hill Crest told Buzz Feed News that its investigation “relies upon a limited number of isolated, cherry-picked, non-representative, and in some cases wholly inaccurate accounts.”The hospital’s “goal is to help and heal those who come to us at their most vulnerable times in their lives,” and if patients said they were mistreated, administrators would conduct a thorough review.But the worker, Isaac Doughty, told Vice again that he was going to take a shower.“No, the hell I’m not — I’m going to do what the nurse told me to,” he recalled responding.Surveillance video shows what happens next: Doughty walks toward him waving his right index finger in the air, then brings both of his hands down on Vice’s neck.Now, a deep examination of UHS’s Hill Crest facility — based on internal surveillance videos; interviews with nearly 50 former patients, family members, and current and former employees; and a review of hundreds of pages of legal and medical documents — shows that a culture of violence flourished there.Videos show patients — including foster children — being tackled, dragged, and choked by staff members.Contesting Vice’s account of what happened in the room, Doughty, who reviewed the footage at Buzz Feed News’ request, repeated several times, “I didn’t do anything wrong.” The facility where the April 2015 incident took place — Hill Crest Behavioral Health, in Birmingham, Alabama — is owned by America’s largest psychiatric hospital chain, Universal Health Services.UHS, whose revenues last year from its behavioral health facilities alone exceeded billion, owns more than 200 for-profit psychiatric facilities that served 455,000 patients.