Calls Raise Questions Of SF General’s Handling Of Lynne Spalding Search

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — Recently released transcripts of phone calls at San Francisco General Hospital are raising questions about the attitude of those involved in the search for Lynne Spalding, who was found dead in a hospital stairwell in October.

One of the transcripts involved a call between two unnamed sheriff’s deputies. Referring to Spalding, one of the deputies said, “the person was going to be discharged anyway and she decided to take off and then her daughter made a stink about it. That’s all that was.”

Spalding family spokesperson David Perry said, “The talk about the daughter who was calling and begging for them to find her mother in anything but a professional and clear-headed way, does disrespect not only to Lynne’s memory, but to her children— and frankly to anyone who goes into San Francisco General for treatment.”

After Spalding’s body was found in the stairwell, another transcript captured a conversation between sheriff’s deputies where one said, “No kidding. They didn’t smell her, huh?”

Read The Phone Call Transcripts (.pdf)

There was no hospital monitor on duty when Spalding walked away.

Hospital spokesperson Rachel Kagan said if a patient is delusional, keeping them in bed is not good for them.

“That tends to promote disorientation and confusion so we do want them up and around if clinically they’re able to do that, but of course we don’t want them up and around and leaving,” Kagan said.

Currently, all hospital staff is undergoing training on new policies related to patients that go missing.

“Her tragic death did show us we needed to strengthen those policies and practices around at-risk patients and we have done so,” she said.

Meanwhile, the Spalding family is also pushing for legislation to require cameras at every entrance and exit of San Francisco General Hospital.

The Spalding family wants their proposed law that would install cameras at the hospital to be called “Lynne’s Law.”

(Copyright 2014 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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