It is interesting how demorats always deflect from their own incompetencies.
Failed demorat presidential candidate Washington State Governor Jay Inslee is calling on his state Department of Health to strengthen enforcement of private psychiatric hospitals. This is in response to a Seattle Times investigation.
From the Seattle Times story:
“The directive marks a shift in tone for Inslee, who has supported the expansion of private psychiatric hospitals in a state that has long been short of treatment options. In his letter, the governor suggested revisiting the role of for-profit psychiatric companies.
“I am deeply troubled at the prospect of corporations exploiting gaps in our oversight systems to profit from vulnerable Washingtonians and hard-working hospital staff,” he wrote.
As private psychiatric hospitals have expanded in Washington state, with more than 850 new beds approved since 2012, some have repeatedly failed to meet regulatory requirements and put patients and their own staff at risk, The Times found. Hospitals are only required to disclose specific types of serious harm to the Department of Health and face no penalty for failing to do so in Washington, unlike other states.
Private psychiatric hospitals reported 15 “adverse events” over three years to the department. Over the same period, The Times found 350 incidents in which patients or staff were assaulted, suffered an injury, attempted suicide, escaped or died suddenly.”
Read the whole story here.
As governor, Inslee is responsible for the oversight of Western State Hospital, an inpatient psychiatric hospital with more than 800 beds and 2,200 employees in Lakewood.
Did you know that in June 2018 Western lost their certification and $53 million in federal funding? From King 5:
“Despite “significant strides” at Western State Hospital, Washington state’s largest psychiatric hospital lost its federal certification and $53 million in federal funds Monday after failing to achieve basic health and safety standards.
Western State failed to pass a May survey by federal inspectors with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Surveyors judged the hospital based on 26 conditions, which included inspecting wards and treatment plans and interviewing staff.
“CMS has determined that Western’s progress did not constitute substantial compliance with the Medicare conditions of participations,” the letter from CMS read.
The requirements were laid out in a Systems Improvements Agreement between the federal government and the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) that began in June 2016.
The 800-plus bed facility has been plagued by problems for years that ranged from assaults on health-care workers to escapes by dangerous patients.”
Read the whole King 5 story here.
Issues at Western include the following: Inappropriate use of restraints, faulty sprinklers, lack of fire drills, development of patient treatment plans and physical therapy plans.
Of course, DSHS had no comment on those issues at the time because they had not been able to perform any reviews of the complaints.
Under Gov. Inslee’s watch, Western has been plagued with assaults – and even a murder allegation. Some of the problems at Western:
In February this year, a woman claimed her father was a victim of murder from a patient that was released from Western. Her father was attacked at an adult family home and perhaps hit in the face with a coffee mug by a man who had been at the hospital and known for violent behavior.
A nurse lost part of her ear when she was assaulted by a patient and is now suing for $5 million.
In December 2018, KOMO reported that assaults had surged at Western. Faculty blamed the hospital administration saying they are moving dangerous patients into less-secure wards and leaving them there after they attack others.
In March this year, Western was fined $4,900 for failing to protect workers from assaults by patients. The L&I investigation found that DSHS— which runs the hospital — “did not do everything reasonably necessary to protect employees” from workplace violence.
Wait, there’s more detail about the deplorable conditions at Western that occurred under the “leadership” of Gov. Jay Inslee. Excerpts from NWNewsNetwork.org:
“A “root cause” report in 2016 identified ineffective management, staff reductions and turnover leading to patients who felt “neglected” and a “culture of helplessness” among staff. A review by the Department of Corrections also found numerous security gaps including 25,000 unaccounted for master keys.
Over the last couple of years, the state has accrued more than $55 million in fines for not meeting court-ordered timelines to evaluate and treat criminal defendants who are not competent to stand trial. That has led to mentally ill defendants languishing in jail cells while they await those services from the state hospitals.”
Read all the details here.
While the good governor goes on about demanding oversight for private psychiatric hospitals in his state, maybe he and DSHS should lead by example and get the affairs of their mental hospital in order.
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