Mayor: City will investigate SF General Hospital security after patient found dead in stairwell

One resolution for Mayor Ed Lee in 2015 could be to declare a moratorium on evictions in The City.

One resolution for Mayor Ed Lee in 2015 could be to declare a moratorium on evictions in The City.

Three days after the body of a missing patient was found in a stairwell at San Francisco General Hospital, Mayor Ed Lee expressed his condolences and pledged that he would do all he can — specifically by launching an independent review of the hospital’s security — to find out what happened to Lynne Spalding.

“This should not have happened and we all want to make sure this never happens again,” Lee said during a news conference Thursday.

Lee voiced support for the hospital’s staff and promised to keep the Spalding family in the loop as the investigation goes forward.

He wouldn’t speculate on who or what is to blame.

“I’m not into pointing fingers at this time …,” Lee said, “but I will say this: The City is responsible for what happened here and I want everybody to cooperate to find out all the details so that we can improve on it and make sure it doesn’t happen.”

The mayor said the independent review of all security at the hospital will include patient and employee security, the control of building and campus security, and the response to all staff and patient safety events. Additionally, the review will include looking at security policy as well as training and security staffing, which is overseen by the Sheriff’s Department.

Lee made a point to commend the hospital staff, pointing out that incidents like this are unprecedented at the hospital.

“We’re not of the opinion that this happens very often, especially in a locked stairwell,” Lee said of the case.

Spalding, 57, was admitted to the hospital Sept. 19 when she came there with her boyfriend and 23-year-old daughter. She had been losing weight and didn’t appear to be herself, said family spokesman David Perry, who added that she may have been suffering from some kind of infection.

On Sept. 21, Spalding, whose condition was improving, disappeared from her hospital bed 15 minutes after a nurse attended to her. After she disappeared from her fifth-floor bed, a search of the unit, hospital and campus was undertaken.

Her body was found Tuesday by a hospital engineer doing a regularly scheduled inspection of an emergency exit stairwell that is on the outside of the building.

Foul play has been ruled out of the case, according to Perry. The cause, manner and time of death remain under investigation by the Medical Examiner’s Office.Bay Area NewsEd LeeLynne SpaldingSan Francisco General Hospital

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Giants second baseman Donovan Solano scores on a double in the seventh inning against the Dodgers at Oracle Park on July 29. (Chris Victorio/Special to The Examiner)
Will the Giants make the playoffs? Kris Bryant may be the answer

By Chris Haft Special to The Examiner You’d be hard-pressed to find… Continue reading

Tiffany Carter, owner of Boug Cali West Coast Creole Shack in San Francisco’s La Cocina Marketplace, was dismayed by gentrification she found when she returned to her hometown to start a business. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
SF Black Wallstreet: Helping residents build wealth, reclaim spaces they’ve had to leave

Tiffany Carter moved back to her hometown of San Francisco five years… Continue reading

A prescribed fire at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks was conducted in June 2016 to reduce hazardous fuel loading, increase watershed health, and restore the natural fire cycle in the Redwood Canyon area ecosystem. (Photo courtesy Rebecca Paterson/National Park Service)
Experts, UC scientists discuss wildfires in the state’s riskiest regions

Wildfires are nothing new in California’s history, but the magnitude and frequencies… Continue reading

Fourth-grade students at Lucerne Valley Elementary School don masks and Western wear for a “Walk Through California” history day during in-person instruction. (Courtesy of Krystal Nelson)
Confusion over mask mandate for California schools sparks tension between districts and parents

By Diana Lambert EdSource Shifting rules around mask mandates at schools are… Continue reading

In his extensive filming of The City during the pandemic, Eric Goodfield said he has been “observing how the environment affects the behavior of people.” (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
Filmmaker Eric Goodfield fixes lens on SF’s COVID days

140 days of shooting in The City made for ‘greatest adventure’

Most Read