Press Release from Mayor – Oct 11th


Friday, October 11, 2013

Contact: Mayor’s Office of Communications, 415-554-6131

San Francisco General Hospital, 415-206-3170




Independent Review Will Improve Patient Safety & Security Systems at Busy County Hospital 

San Francisco, CA—Mayor Edwin M. Lee today announced that UC San Francisco (UCSF) Medical Center has agreed to undertake an independent review of San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center’s (SFGH) safety and security systems. 

“The City is responsible for the care and safety of every patient that is treated at our San Francisco General Hospital and our City deserves the safest and most secure hospital,” said Mayor Lee. “I am thankful UCSF has agreed to conduct this independent review that will help strengthen San Francisco General Hospital’s security and patient safety systems.” 

The review will be conducted by UCSF experts who may call on additional resources and other experts on particular hospital safety issues, in order to perform a thorough and independent review.

UCSF and the San Francisco Department of Public Health (DPH) are in the initial stages of identifying each element necessary for a thorough review. These will include SFGH staff responses to safety events, security systems and policies, in particular those focused on patient safety and tracking. 

The independent review of the hospital’s safety and security systems will not duplicate the efforts of the Police, Sheriff and California Department of Public Health to investigate the death of patient Lynne Spalding Ford, whose body was discovered on campus on October 8th, after she went missing from her hospital room on September 21st. SFGH and DPH are fully cooperating with those investigations.

“This review will go the extra mile to ensure that the hospital’s systems that protect patients, families, visitors and staff meet the highest possible standards,” said DPH Director Barbara Garcia. 

The agreement comes one day after the Mayor announced an independent review at SFGH. Mayor Lee was joined by DPH Director Garcia, Health Commission President Sonia Melara, SFGH Chief Operating Officer Roland Pickens and SFGH Chief Medical Officer Todd May, M.D. 

UCSF Medical Center, like SFGH, is a busy urban hospital that provides a wide variety of clinical services to a diverse population in San Francisco. UCSF also operates its own police force, giving it unique security expertise.

UCSF has a long-standing partnership with the City, providing physician services at San Francisco General Hospital and collaborating with the hospital on clinical teaching and research. That relationship affords a strong foundation for a productive review. UCSF does not provide safety or security systems at SFGH. 

“We are grateful for the support of the City that is bringing resources to bear on making sure that San Francisco General Hospital is completely safe and secure for the 100,000 patients and families that we care for each year, as well as our staff,” said SFGH COO Pickens. “At the end of this process, we will be a stronger organization. We want our patients to have full confidence that in addition to excellent care, we will also provide superior safety and security systems.”



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