Date: March 18, 2024


Public Information Office
(603) 271-9389 |

Hampstead Hospital and Residential Treatment Facility Update

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has issued the following information to provide information to the people of New Hampshire in light of recent media coverage at Hampstead Hospital and Residential Treatment Facility (HHRTF):

Over the course of this past week, first responders have been called to Hampstead to assist as two patients exhibited assaultive behavior toward staff. The situations were quickly calmed. This past weekend, police responded to an incident involving one of the patients, and unfortunately two staff members were injured. Contrary to reports to the media, these staff are recovering well and we are fully supporting them as they do so.

On Monday morning, the youth involved in the aforementioned incidents was transferred to a hospital out-of-state that offers specialized, trauma-informed clinical treatment better suited to the patient’s specific needs.

Despite this challenging time, the extraordinary clinicians, staff, and administrators at HHRTF have continued to provide safe and quality care to very complex and acute patients without interruption. Staffing at the hospital exceeds required ratios. We are confident we will get through this rocky period quickly. New admissions continue at a normal pace at HHRTF and families can be confident that they will receive safe, excellent, skilled care.

While escalated behaviors are not uncommon in facilities that serve youth with the most acute needs, it is not easy work. We have a talented set of caregivers at HHRTF whose passion and commitment for this work is visible every day. We continue to enhance training and safety protocols to improve the employee experience while meeting patient needs.

The situation at Hampstead is not out of the ordinary, as all states are seeing a high acuity of behavioral health needs among our youth. Any facility serving youth prepares for unusual circumstances that occasionally arise that exceed the abilities of the facility staff to independently handle. We are learning and adapting as the Hospital serves this acute population. DHHS and HHRTF are grateful to all the state and local police, fire, and EMS leaders who provide exceptional service in support the patients and employees. 

As the only facility in New Hampshire that treats youth with the most complex and acute behavioral health issues, Hampstead serves an important role in New Hampshire’s Children’s Behavioral Health System of Care. We are committed to the safety and wellbeing as all as we serve the youth of New Hampshire as close to their home communities as possible.