Local News

Raleigh Detectives Investigate Possible Patient Abuse at Britthaven

Posted December 8, 1998 6:00 a.m. EST

— Raleigh detectives are looking into allegations of patient abuse at Britthaven. Detectives began interviews Wednesday, after her family reported a 66-year-old woman was treated improperly.

For the past five years, Britthaven has been home to Crystal Williams' 66-year-old great-aunt. Now, Williams says her relative is a victim of Britthaven.

Williams' suspicions deepened when she discovered a bruise on her great-aunt's face. She explains why. "They're locked in position, and her feet are locked into position and they're curled and she can't move at all."

Williams believes her great-aunt could not have bruised herself. "Someone had to put it there, and it looks, just from looking at it, that someone with long nails or artificial nails, could have taken their hand and just slapped her one good one across the face," Williams says.

Jesse Goodman, with the State Division of Facility Services, acknowledges the situation. "The facility notified us late last night that there has been potential resident abuse," Goodman says.

According to state law, the Britthaven facility now has five days to complete an internal investigation and hand over those results to the state. State officials will then decide if they will investigate.

The director of Britthaven declined an on-camera interview, but she did say the facility will follow all state protocols.

WRAL is aware of twelve complaints filed against Britthaven in Raleigh over the last two years. Only about four or five turned into "deficiencies," or poor patient care. Most of those "deficiencies" have occurred in the last six months. Reporter: Todd HauerPhotographer: Chad Flowers