Lawmaker calls for hearing on patient assaults at NJ hospital

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PARAMUS, N.J. — A New Jersey lawmaker is calling for a hearing after a report found there’s been increasing violence at a hospital.

Democratic State Sen. Joseph Vitale told The Record newspaper he’ll schedule a hearing in Trenton next month about reports of patient assaults at the Bergen Regional Medical Center in Paramus.

The newspaper reports there were nearly 300 assault reports at the hospital last year — 38 percent more than in 2014. The hospital provides psychiatric care, substance abuse treatment and long-term care.

The newspaper reports county officials who oversee the hospital “did little to ensure patient and staff safety” despite multiple warnings of violence.

Hospital officials say incident rates have gone down recently and that assaults resulting in injuries are below national standards.