Effort to better protect psychiatric patients in Texas - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |

Effort to better protect psychiatric patients in Texas

Posted: Updated:

Texas - The Disability Rights of Texas released a report indicating state officials have missed red flags that would have better protected several mental hospital patients across the state and instead, have placed them at risk for neglect and abuse.

After two decades of this oversight, Disability Rights is now hoping changes will be made to legislation and polices.

One allegation claims the Department of State Health Services, which oversees the state's 10 psychiatric hospitals, allegedly hired and then failed to adequately supervise five physicians with histories of sexually inappropriate behavior.

Another claim says the agency allegedly dismissed numerous reports of child sexual abuse levied against a former psychiatrist and failed to act even when multiple allegations began coming in.

State Health Services spokeswoman Carrie Williams says the report doesn't seem current and does not acknowledge fixes that have been made to the system over the past year.

The agency has reportedly made more than a dozen changes to improve patient safety; such as installing more than 500 surveillance cameras at 9 of the 10 state hospitals. 

They are also working closely with Family and Protective Services to start tracking abuse and neglect to identify patterns.

  • Local HeadlinesMore>>

  • Midland Goes Green With Solar Compactor

    Midland Goes Green With Solar Compactor

    Midland is going green in a very high-tech way that is also saving tax dollars.
    Midland is going green in a very high-tech way that is also saving tax dollars.
  • "Run or Dye" 5K Event Held in Midland

    "Run or Dye" 5K Event Held in Midland

    It was a colorful start to the Easter weekend with the “Run or Dye” 5K on Saturday morning in Midland. About 1,000 people showed up to the Scharbauer Sports Complex to run and get splashed with color along the way.
    It was a colorful start to the Easter weekend with the “Run or Dye” 5K on Saturday morning in Midland. About 1,000 people showed up to the Scharbauer Sports Complex to run and get splashed with color along the way.
  • Midland Firefighter Needs Donations to Fight Cancer

    Midland Firefighter Needs Donations to Fight Cancer

    30-year-old Aaron Hughes is a driver and paramedic with the Midland Fire Department. He was recently diagnosed with cancer. Aaron tells NewsWest 9 that he had an ulcer on his tongue that wouldn't go away. The doctor performed a biopsy on it and a few days later Aaron found out he had carcinoma. 
    30-year-old Aaron Hughes is a driver and paramedic with the Midland Fire Department. He was recently diagnosed with cancer. Aaron tells NewsWest 9 that he had an ulcer on his tongue that wouldn't go away. The doctor performed a biopsy on it and a few days later Aaron found out he had carcinoma.