By Kate Farrish/ Conn. Health I-Team Writer
A Hamden residential care home for psychiatric patients has been fined $1,000 and has been placed on probation for two years after one of its owners was accused of stealing funds from two patients.
Under a consent order signed Jan. 18 with the state Department of Public Health, the owner and manager, Susan Taylor of Woodbridge, is banned from Garden View Manor and cannot have any contact with patients at the facility. Taylor also cannot have any access to patient funds or medication.
Angela Boyle, president of Garden View Manor, will run the facility at 1840 State St., the state order said. Boyle also agreed to hire a consultant to monitor care at the home at least eight hours a week.
The state health department is continuing its investigation into misappropriation of patient funds and reserves the right to seek restitution, the consent order said. The state also found lapses in care at the facility.
Hamden police arrested Taylor in December and accused her of using a patient’s debit card to make an unauthorized withdrawal of $1,200, according to a press release from Capt. Ronald Smith. Taylor was also accused of taking a check from a second patient, forging the person’s name and stealing $130, the release said.
Taylor turned herself into police on Dec. 3 and was charged with fourth-degree larceny, sixth-degree larceny, third-degree forgery, two counts of issuing a bad check, auto teller fraud and identification theft, Hamden police said. The police investigation began in August 2012 when it received two complaints of larceny at the home, where 16 residents live.
Taylor’s case is pending in Superior Court in Meriden. Neither she nor Boyle could be reached for comment Monday.
During three visits in December, DPH records show that inspectors witnessed lapses in care at the home.
On Dec. 19, inspectors found medication that was not stored in a safe manner, large potholes in a parking lot where patients walked, mold in a shower and two fire extinguishers that had not been regularly inspected, state records show.
Three times, inspectors saw patients drop pills on the floor, only to pick them up and swallow them while attendants watched and didn’t intervene, state records show.
The inspectors also found cases of missing medication, patients borrowing medication from one another and four attendants who said they did not always follow proper procedures because “there were too many irregularities with the controlled medications” at the home, records show.
DPH records show many of the Garden View Manor patients have mental health diagnoses, including paranoid schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and depression.
This story was reported under a partnership with the Connecticut Health I-Team (www.c-hit.org).