Illinois Hospital Remains Open Despite Chaos

understaffed hospital

Westlake Hospital Stays Open for Now, Community Leaders Say There Are Not Enough Staff to Care for Patients 

By court order, Westlake Hospital in Melrose Park is to stay open and keep patient safety a top concern. Previously, a Cook County Circuit Court judge granted Melrose Park a temporary restraining order, prohibiting Pipeline Health (owners of Westlake) from further minimizing services or staffing after they had announced the hospital would no longer be admitting new patients and transferring others.

But local lawmaker Rep. Emanuel Chris Welch of Westchester says that despite the newest court order to stay open and treat patients, Pipeline Health is still “turning employees and staff away.”

In a statement, Pipeline spokeswoman Natalie Bauer said, “The chaos they seek to create is wildly irresponsible and putting patient safety in jeopardy. We are following the judge’s order and reviewing our legal options. It’s unfortunate the Mayor and Rep. Welch didn’t dedicate the time and energy they are now to standing up for Westlake when the new Hospital Assessment Program was being formulated or when the Village of Melrose Park opted to rescind public funding for Westlake’s redevelopment, depriving the hospital of millions of dollars in critical funding.”

Pipeline Announced Westlake’s Closure in February

According to local reports, the 230-bed Melrose Park facility announced its planned closure for later this year to village officials this February, primarily due to declining staff rates posing patient safety risks.

Pipeline representatives have reported seeing unacceptable risks to patient care including:

  • Medical staff has not reported for duty.
  • Critical roles in the emergency room and intensive care unit have been covered by registry nurses from outside agencies unfamiliar with the hospital procedures.
  • The conditions have recently forced the hospital to declare a bypass in the emergency room because of inadequate staffing levels in the ICU.
  • The remaining staff has been working unacceptably long shifts.
  • In Labor and Delivery, Westlake has lost 25 percent of its nurses.

Los Angeles-based Pipeline purchased all three hospitals at Westlake, West Suburban and Weiss Memorial for $70 million earlier this year despite knowing that Westlake was operating at a significant loss.

Wrongful Hospital Conduct Can Result in Patient Injury or Death

The personal injury and medical malpractice team at Levin & Perconti plan to continue following this story as it evolves and would like to remind our readers that any hospital’s wrongful conduct which causes temporary or permanent physical injury to patients makes a personal injury suit viable. The injured patient can seek compensation for all of the losses they have experienced and will continue to experience as a result of that injury. These elements of damage may include medical expenses, loss of wages, pain and suffering, disability and disfigurement.

Working with Chicago’s Most Reputable Legal Team

If you would like to speak to a Chicago personal injury lawyer about your potential case involving Westlake Hospital and Pipeline Health, simply call us at 312-332-2872 or 877-374-1417 or connect with us via our free online personal injury case evaluation form. Our attorneys are happy to discuss your legal options with you in a free and confidential consultation and you will never pay a fee unless we successfully resolve your case.

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