health care

Nurses upset by plans to close Taunton hospital

Posted 1/30/12

TAUNTON – Nurses reacted with anger to the news that the Mass. Department of Mental Health planned to close Taunton State Hospital with its 169 beds, one of only six state-operated mental health facilities in the state to care for people suffering from acute and chronic mental illness.

The state announced it plans to move 120 of the 169 beds to the new Worcester State Hospital, with the other 45 beds going to Tewksbury State Hospital.

“This is a cold hearted and dangerous decision that will have devastating consequences for the mentally ill in our state,” said Karen Coughlin, a nurse at Taunton State Hospital and vice president of the Massachusetts Nurses Association/National Nurses United. “We have no mental health care safety net in Massachusetts. There are not, and have not been, enough beds or services in the system for years. This decision will only exacerbate a long standing crisis.”

According to Coughlin, many of the patients at Taunton State Hospital are frail, elderly mentally ill patients who can’t be cared for in nursing homes; a large percentage of patients have a dual diagnosis of mental illness and substance abuse which complicates their placement in community settings. “We have a number of women suffering from serious trauma who are self abusive and suicidal and need intensive mental health monitoring and care,” she said. “These are patients that often have nowhere else to go in the system,” Coughlin explained.

Overall, there is a shortage of psychiatric beds throughout the entire health care system in our state, including the public and private sector, according to Coughlin. She predicted that as a result of the closing at Taunton State Hospital, people will go without care, crime will increase, homelessness will increase, more people will end up in the corrections system and many more will commit suicide.

PBN Hosted

Join PBN for the best networking event and party of the winter - January 15, 2015 - the Book of Lists Party at the Providence Public Library. Reserve your spot by December 31st and get a holiday gift from PBN!
  • Best Places to Work
    Enrollment is now open for the 7th annual Best Places to Work program. Winners w ...
  • Manufacturing Awards
    Applications are now being accepted for the 2nd Annual Manufacturing Awards. Dea ...
Purchase Data
Book of Lists
Book of Lists cover
PBN's annual Book of Lists has been an essential resource for the local business community for almost 30 years. The Book of Lists features a wealth of company rankings from a variety of fields and industries, including banking, health care, real estate, law, hospitality, education, not-for-profits, technology and many more.
Data icons
Data can be purchased as single lists, in either Excel or PDF format; the entire database of the published book, in Excel format; or a printed copy of the Book of Lists.
  • Purchase an e-File of a single list
  • Purchase an e-File of the entire Book of Lists database
  • Purchase a printed copy of the Book of Lists
    Latest News