Feds Accept Plan To Mitigate Suicide Risk At Western State Hospital
Washington state’s largest psychiatric hospital is no longer in immediate jeopardy of losing federal funding.
Last week, federal inspectors found serious safety violations at Western State Hospital that could put patients at risk of suicide. They spent several days at Western State looking for full compliance with federal standards. Now the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has accepted the hospital’s immediate plan to address the suicide risk issues.
The hospital has been in a sort of turnaround mode for the last two years. A number of problems leading up to 2016 emerged at the hospital ranging from management failures to significant safety issues that imperiled the health and safety not just of the patients, but the staff at this hospital.
This most recent inspection is widely viewed as the hospital’s last chance to meet federal standards. Final survey results are expected at the end of June. At stake is $65 million in federal funding each year that goes to help run this hospital.
Civil commitments have been appealed so many times that the legal standard has gradually become harder and harder to meet. “Just because we have a mental illness and we’re symptomatic doesn’t mean we’re stupid or drooling on ourselves… We’re able to understand, if we’re before a judge, that I may lose my liberty,” Continue Reading Oregon Considers Changing The Way Mentally Ill People Are Committed
Some psychiatric patients are spending not just hours in the emergency room, but days or a week. They’re living there in the ER because there is nowhere else to send them. Northwest policymakers are now making it a priority to create more treatment capacity for people in mental health and addiction crises. Continue Reading Those Experiencing Mental Health Crisis Find Themselves Stuck In ER, With Nowhere Else To Go
The enforcement action this week by the Washington Department of Labor and Industries follows a months-long investigation triggered by three violent patient-on-nurse assaults last year at Western State Hospital in Lakewood. Continue Reading Washington’s Largest Psychiatric Hospital Cited And Fined For Failing To Protect Assaulted Nurses