Local News

N.C. to hire firm to evaluate mental hospital

Posted August 28, 2008

— North Carolina's top health official has ordered an independent review of a Goldsboro mental hospital where an unattended patient died after choking on medication.

Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Dempsey Benton said Thursday that the Division of Mental Health must find an independent hospital management firm to evaluate Cherry Hospital.

Benton also said he wanted more security personnel assigned to the hospital.

Steven Sabock, 50, died in April after being ignored for more than 22 hours while staff members played cards and watched TV in the same room.

The ward where Sabock died is now closed, but none of the 16 staff members who were supposed to care for Sabock have been fired. One nurse did resign.

The hospital also is being investigated by the federal government, which has threatened to withdraw insurance reimbursements.

Four employees have been fired in the wake of accusations related to a patient beating.


This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • elatsmith Aug 28, 2008

    As I predicted ( like anyone could have) more wasted money on consultants. WE ( employees) have advised management of the problems again and again and they ignore us until something like this happens, then they suddenly care. Some of us have even been disciplined because we speak out to the media and tell the truth. Now a firm will make money to tell them the same thing. I have complained about safety issues, low nurse to pt. ratios, and low doc to pt. ratios and the absolute worthlessness of the NCI ( self defense class) and more only to be ignored now all of a sudden wqe r gonna get more rns, more security, retraining ( still worthless). Tax payers are burned again

  • Scarecrow Cow Aug 28, 2008

    No matter what the group finds, nothing is going to change. Changing the culture of abuse and neglect at Cherry would take a complete overhaul, but that would mean firing all administrators and many staff and replacing them with more qualified people. That's never going to happen. It was hard enough to find the people who work there now.

  • hdonthefarm Aug 28, 2008

    The DOT had an evaluation. The Highway Patrol had an investigation. What changed? Until the state quits hiring unqualified people (their buddies, business partners, partners in crime, whatever) the taxpayers are going to keep feeling a little something in the keester.

  • whocares Aug 28, 2008

    More money wasted on outside help. What do these hospitals have a Board of Directors for. It should be their job to oversee the hospital and if they are doing such a horrible job, then fire them and find someone who will do things right the first time so no one has to keep going over the same mistakes over and over again.

  • WHEEL Aug 28, 2008

    Every time there is a problem in a State Agency, DOT, DMV, Education, whatever, the solution is to hire a consultant to come in, talk to the people on the ground and feed their ideas back to the Department at a big price.

    If an outfit with a 21 BILLION $ budget (the State of N C) doesnt have a management team in house that can do this then the CEO should be fired.

  • dogman1973 Aug 28, 2008

    Yet again (illegals attending post secondary universities) , the STate of North Carolina needs to consult with an independent agency to figure out what to do----turn the screw alittle more on us taxpayers! Just throw money in the wind, when anyone with half a brain knows what to do!

  • coolwill Aug 28, 2008

    We pay the administrators to run DHS, why would they need to pay and independent firm to evaluate the hospital, if the hospital falls short than administrator needs to be replaced and the next administrator advice of the last administrators faith. What have Easley, DHS and the directors and etc, been doing with the money we pay them to do their jobs and vote them self’s a raise.

  • ghwhitaker1_old Aug 28, 2008

    So, they're going to hire (pay money to) someone to tell them what is wrong. Save the money! What's wrong is they have staff who are neglecting, abusing and mistreating their wards. When they are caught, someone makes a decision to just "transfer" them someplace else to continue practicing their incompetence or criminal activity. The someone who made this decision should be fired along with the 16 folks transferred. Start over and do it right this time!

  • gary23 Aug 28, 2008

    Please do not fire the (16)Staffers. The Unemployment Rate in N.C. is way to high. Transfer all (16) and allow them to be Probation Officers in Wake and Durham County. I am sure they will fit right in. Either thsi or they can fill in spaces in the Chrystal Magnum Movie when it is released.


  • 2thebeach Aug 28, 2008

    W've have evaluations done on Cherry Hospital several times; how do they keep getting away with this stuff?