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First on 10: Eleanor Slater Hospital given preliminary denial of accreditation

Eleanor Slater Hospital (WJAR) 

The Joint Commission, which accredits thousands of hospitals around the country every three years, has issued a preliminary denial of accreditation for Eleanor Slater Hospital.

NBC 10's Bill Rappleye on Thursday learned that the state has submitted a 60-day action plan to fix the issues and retain accreditation, effective Sept. 22, 2017.

A source told NBC 10 that the main issue is ligature risk, meaning that there are too many possible opportunities for suicide and patients hurting themselves, such as improper door hinges, shower rods, bed frames and TV mounts on walls, as these items are considered possible hanging sources.

“The majority of concerns have to do with environment of care. And the truth of the matter is that we have a psychiatric hospital that are in aging facilities in the state and we've known this and we've been working toward finding better facilities,” Rebecca Boss, who is the director of the Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals. “But in the meantime, we need to address where people are now.”

But Boss also said there have not been any suicides in recent memory or any incidents that prompted the denial.

Going forward, the hospital plans to increase supervision, staff levels, as well as staff training.

Eleanor Slater Hospital, a Rhode Island psychiatric hospital with three locations at the John O. Pastore Center in Cranston, as well as the Zambarano division in Burrillville, house psychiatric and long term medical care patients, including child killer Michael Woodmansee.

Woodmansee was convicted of killing 5-year-old Jason Foreman in 1975. He was released from prison in 2011 after serving less than 29 years of a 40-year sentence, but agreed to commit himself to Eleanor Slater Hospital.

If the hospital fails to remedy the issues within 60 days, not only will it lose accreditation, it will also forfeit federal funding that comes with it.

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