Baker-Polito Administration Signs Contract to Boost Patient Care at Bridgewater State Hospital
BOSTON - The Baker-Polito Administration has announced that it has signed a contract with Correct Care Solutions to provide clinical patient care at the Bridgewater State Hospital. Correct Care Solutions (CCS) was selected based on its extensive experience in treating individuals with serious behavioral health needs and for its specific knowledge of the Bridgewater State Hospital facility. The company is recognized as a national leader in the reduction of the use of seclusion and restraint and has significantly reduced rates of seclusion and restraint at other facilities where it oversees patient care. The contract was awarded to Correct Care Solutions last month.
“We are very proud to take this important step to reform how patients are treated at Bridgewater State Hospital,” said Governor Charlie Baker, “Our administration is confident that this new contract will bring about the culture change needed to deliver an entirely new level of care.”
Under changes made by the Baker-Polito Administration, all Bridgewater State Hospital patients identified as state sentenced inmates will be transferred to the facility’s State Sentenced Patient Units at Old Colony Correctional Center, a neighboring facility on the Bridgewater Correctional Complex. Historically, security, transportation, patient de-escalation and patient observation via video monitor were provided by uniformed correctional staff specially trained to work in the hospital.
“In addition to the reforms we have implemented, our administration has proposed a substantial increase in funding which shows our strong commitment to increasing the level of care for these very vulnerable patients,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito.
Department of Correction uniformed security staff will continue to provide perimeter security, inclusive of vehicle and pedestrian traps at Bridgewater State Hospital and within the Bridgewater State Hospital State Sentenced Patient Units, but day-to-day interaction with patients at BSH will be conducted by Correct Care Solutions employees.
“The Fiscal Year 2018 budget proposal prioritizes $37 million for the clinical services contract at Bridgewater State Hospital to ensure all patients receive appropriate clinical care,” said Administration and Finance Secretary Kristen Lepore.
“By contracting with Correct Care Solutions, the DOC is creating an important clinical culture change at Bridgewater State Hospital centered around meeting patient needs,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders. “The introduction of evidenced-based treatments and increased clinical staff will promote positive outcomes for patients.”
“This contract is configured so that all patient management services will be provided by clinically trained, trauma informed, non-uniformed staff employed by Correct Care Solutions,” said Public Safety Secretary Dan Bennett.
A New Model of Care at BSH
1) By transferring state sentenced inmates to Old Colony, the clinical staff to patient ratio will improve at Bridgewater State Hospital.
- The transfer of all state sentenced inmates with mental illness from BSH to the new patient units at Old Colony Correctional Center will reduce the census at BSH and improve clinical staffing ratios.
- A reduced patient census will allow for more program space.
- CCS will establish an individualized treatment plan for every patient who enters Bridgewater State Hospital at the time of admission. The plan will be reviewed by the treatment team within ten days of admission.
- CCS will provide mental health treatment in a person-centered, trauma-informed recovery/resiliency philosophy and approach to care, with the goals of improving patients’ overall level of functioning and preparing for their successful transition and discharge from the hospital.
2) Correction officers will be no longer be inside the existing BSH facility.
- Patient care will be configured so that all patient clinical services will be provided by clinically trained, trauma informed, non-uniformed staff employed by CCS under contract with the Department of Correction.
- Historically, security, transportation, patient de-escalation, and patient observation via video monitor have been provided by correction officers specially trained to work in the hospital. Under the new configuration, all patient clinical services will be provided by clinically-trained, trauma-informed, non-uniformed staff employed by CCS under contract with the Department of Correction.
- Approximately 36 correction officers will continue to provide perimeter security, including vehicle and pedestrian traps, emergency response to major disturbances, and will have a presence in the BSH courtroom. Overall, correction officers will have very limited contact with patients.
3) State-sentenced inmates will be housed and treated separately from the rest of the BSH population.
- In the new configuration, all patients identified as state-sentenced inmates will be transferred to the Recovery Unit and Intensive Stabilization and Observation Unit at Old Colony Correctional Center, a neighboring facility on the Bridgewater Correctional Complex, where a new clinical service model will be delivered.
- Security on the new patient units at Old Colony will be provided by Department of Correction staff.
4) The contract with CCS requires enhanced collaboration with the Department of Mental Health (DMH) to improve the treatment of patients and communication with their families.
- There will be enhanced/expanded collaboration with DMH in areas such as training content, performance measures, best practices, discharge planning, and family engagement strategies.
- There will be a continued focus on the reduction in the emergency use of seclusion and restraint. CCS will develop treatment plans with input from patients and families of patients, with the patient’s consent.
- DOC and DMH will work collaboratively to ensure the timely step-down of patients from BSH to DMH. CCS will expand upon best practices initiated in the past 24 months, increasing patients’ access to additional services (e.g., Club House, quiet rooms, comfort rooms, de-escalation tracks, off unit assessments).
5) Enhanced and ongoing training for clinical and correctional staff.
- CCS and DOC’s Health Services Division will develop monthly trainings for clinical staff with a focus on a patient-centered, trauma informed recovery/resiliency philosophy and approach to care, treatment, prevention of seclusion and restraint, and patient services.
- CCS will maintain a database of all training completed by its staff and will provide periodic training reports to the DOC.
- Additionally, CCS will provide in-service training to correction officers on trauma-informed care and strategies for supporting patients with mental illness, especially patients with suicidal and self-injurious behavior.