Problems remain at troubled Washington hospital

Problems remain at troubled Washington hospital
Western State Hospital//Photo Courtesy of Q13 News.

SEATTLE (AP) – Inspectors who visited Washington state’s largest psychiatric hospital found that safety problems that thrust the facility into the national spotlight after the escape of two dangerous patients a year ago persist, including neglected patients.

And a survey of Western State Hospital staff, conducted as part of federal oversight in December and January, found that administrators make decisions that “adversely affect patient safety” and there was a lack of trained or qualified staff.

A state-hired consulting firm found many patients were left alone or ignored.

State officials say they are making progress, including hiring additional staff members, and say fixing the long-standing problems will take time.

The survey and the consultants’ report were obtained by The Associated Press from someone close to the hospital who requested anonymity for fear of retaliation.