Chairwoman Fargo, Chairman Sanchez and members of the Committee, I would like to offer testimony in support of my bill H. 1936, An Act Relative to Bridgewater State Hospital.
In past years, an independent evaluation of Bridgewater State Hospital has revealed substandard conditions in a number of areas. With this recent history, additional measures are required to maintain conditions at Bridgewater, as this hospital serves a valuable function for the entire public. By placing the accreditation requirement in statute, we can help ensure that standards for quality are upheld in years to come at Bridgewater regardless of changes in staffing, administrations and the legislature.
Many of Bridgewater’s patients will ultimately return as free citizens to the communities of the Commonwealth. It is our obligation to make every effort to ensure that the psychiatric care delivered at Bridgewater is consistently meeting an accepted level of appropriateness.
This legislation would require the medical director at Bridgewater State Hospital to make every effort to obtain accreditation by the National Commission on Correctional Health Care (NCCHC) ANDthe Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals (JCAHO). This legislation was reported out favorably in the last session by the Joint Committee on Public Health.
Thank you for your consideration of this important matter. I strongly encourage the Committee to adopt a favorable report for H. 1936 as expeditiously as possible.