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Healthy change at psych ward

NY Daily NewsRICH SCHAPIRO NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Shocking footage of Esmin Green unattended for over an hour at Kings County Hospital spurred monitoring of facility.
AP
KINGS COUNTY Hospital's psychiatric ward has undergone dramatic improvements since the once-troubled facility agreed to court oversight seven years ago.
Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Robert Capers detailed the ward's transformation in a Tuesday letter to a judge who was monitoring conditions there after the 2008 death of a patient.
The Brooklyn facility "has greatly improved the quality of care and treatment," he said in the letter to Federal Judge Kiyo Matsumoto requesting that the case be closed.
"In many respects, the (hospital) has surpassed the requirements of the consent judgment and become a model acute care psychiatric facility."
The monitoring was ordered in 2010, two years after a surveillance video captured the agonizing final moments of Esmin Green.
The 49-year-old Green lay unattended on an emergency room floor for more than an hour as hospital staffers ignored her.
The New York Civil Liberties Union and the state Mental Hygiene Legal Service had by then filed a lawsuit calling the city-run hospital a "chamber of filth, decay, indifference and danger."
In his letter, Capers cited improvements in the rate of patient violence, mental health care and discharge planning, among other areas.
"Treatment at the (facility) has been revolutionized in the past seven years," Capers wrote.
"No longer driven solely by psychiatrists' boilerplate assessments about what is best to control patients' behavior, treatment is interdisciplinary, individualized and focused on patients' needs and recovery goals."
rschapiro@nydailynews.com
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