Oct 1, 2014 5:45 PM
The state has launched an investigation into the Lakeview Neurorehabilitation center in Effingham after a scathing report alleged abuse and neglect toward patients.
The Disability Rights Center (DRC) said there has been a pattern of poor treatment, resulting in injuries and in one case, death.
Governor Maggie Hassan said Tuesday no new patients can be sent to the center and an outside agency will investigate the claims and response from the Department of Health and Human Services.
But the DRC said the center should be shut down and patients should be re-integrated into the community.
"What we need in this state are more community based services to enable poeple to stay close to their loved ones even in a time of crisis. Rather than sticking them in a place where they aren't going to be individuals anymore," said Karen Rosenberg, DRC attorney.
Local authorities received 186 emergency calls between January of 2013 and March of 2014.
One neighbor told NH1 News she is in regular contact with State Police because patients wander off the property frequently, some missing for hours or days.
In the report, the DRC said one patient, referred to as "J.D." was at Lakeview for 72 days. In that time he lost 50 pounds and died after staff members left him laying in his own urine, the report said.
"This was the most horrific case of neglect I have ever seen," said Rosenberg.
In a statement, Lakeview said "health and safety of our employees and program participants is our number one concern."
The Governor has called for an outside agency to investigate neglect claims and there will be daily monitoring of the facility.
"The allegations of abuse, neglect and inadequate care at Lakeview are deeply troubling, and we must strive to meet our commitment to our most vulnerable populations by continuing to improve our community-based approach to providing high quality care to those who experience disabilities," said Governor Hassan.
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