Action Follows Patient's Death At Cherry Hospital

State officials are disciplining a Goldsboro mental hospital's staff and closing one of the facility's wards following the death of a patient who was left unattended for 22 hours.

Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Dempsey Benton is discussing measures Cherry Hospital officials have taken following the death of Steven Sabock. The 50-year-old patient was left in a chair more than 22 hours and choked on medication.

Department spokesman Tom Lawrence said staff members who were involved in Sabock's death have been disciplined and one has resigned.

Lawrence said the hospital also is closing down the ward where Sabock died and reducing the number of beds until the staff demonstrates better performance.

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