Now here's a PR headache you don't want: a Tennessee hospital has had to apologize for denying a same-sex partner visitation rights.
CEO Rick Bangert of Rolling Hills Hospital in Franklin, Tenn. plans to apologize after a staffer prevented Val Burke from visiting her partner in the psychiatric hospital’s residential unit.
The apology is appropriate -- federal regs specified gay partners' visitation rights in January -- and apparently timely. And the hospital will give staff "a reminder about the hospital's visitation rights" policy, per Out & About.
Visitation policies in psych hospitals may be restrictive for a number of reasons, but given the potential for bad press, same-sex partner visits should be handled with special sensitivity. If there's a medical reason for denying a partner visit -- gay or not -- it should be readily available to staff to help defuse the situation, or to limit repercussions in case of a challenge.