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Six patients dead from neglect at psychiatric care home in St. Petersburg due to “lack of staff”, investigation underway

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Russia’s Investigative Committee has confirmed the death of six patients at a psychiatric care home in St. Petersburg since 2022. An investigation into the incidents has been launched.

On April 19, Anna (“Nyuta”) Federmesser, the head of the Center for Palliative Care and founder of the “Vera” charity foundation for hospice care, recorded a video message in which she claimed that seven patients had recently died in St. Petersburg’s psychiatric care home №10.

According to Federmesser, the problems at the facility were well-known as early as a year and a half ago. “We said and wrote that the care home was understaffed, that there were not enough hands to care for [the patients], that all the children were extremely malnourished and had protein-energy deficiencies. All of these children could have been saved. But they all died,” Federmesser said.

Federmesser added that the authorities did not respond to a warning about a boy's grave condition, leading to his death at St. Petersburg’s Alexandrovskaya hospital on April 17. The boy’s death was the seventh fatal incident at the facility that sparked the investigation. Russian government agencies have so far confirmed six deaths.

The head of the care home, Ivan Verevkin, was repeatedly warned about the condition of the children, Federmesser noted, adding that the patients need individual medical care and specialized nutrition. Staff shortages and the barring of volunteers from the facility prevent the patients from receiving the care they require, stressed the philanthropist.

Local Telegram channel Mash na Moike (“Mash on the Moika river”), citing Federmesser’s representatives, reported that the deceased patients were aged from 19 to 27.

Photos of emaciated people were earlier published on social media. Nyuta Federmesser's assistant confirmed to The Insider that these photos show the care home’s deceased patients.

According to a report by Novaya Gazeta, Federmesser and multiple members of St. Petersburg’s charity organizations stressed that staff shortages are one the main problems at the intensive care facilities, which house the weakest patients. Over the past three years, the staffing of the orphanages has been drastically reduced, which is affecting the lives and health of the children.

The Investigative Committee cited the “improper execution of professional duties in caring for citizens suffering from mental illness” as the reason for the childrens’ deaths. The maximum penalty for the offense is up to four years in prison.

Ivan Verevkin, the director of care home № 10, is convinced that there are no problems at his institution, reported St. Petersburg media outlet 78.ru.

“There's this special lady, Anna Konstantinovna Federmesser [the public figure that initially drew attention to the deaths – The Insider] a well-known scandalist and provocateur. [...] She has already appealed to all of the country's authorities,” he told journalists.

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