Plan ordered for West Virginia psychiatric hospital issues

CHARLESTON (AP) — The Department of Health and Human Resources is facing a June 11 deadline to come up with a plan to address issues at the state’s two psychiatric hospitals.

These issues include staffing shortages and noncompetitive wages for workers.

The Charleston Gazette reports that Kanawha County Circuit Court Judge Louis “Duke” Bloom ordered the plan on Tuesday. Bloom said the court might develop its own plan if the DHHR doesn’t submit one.

As of March 30, there were 48 vacant positions at William R. Sharpe Hospital in Weston and 41 vacancies at Mildred Mitchell-Bateman Hospital in Huntington.

Both hospitals also lack critical-care staff that put them in violation of state code.

Bloom’s order came in a case originally filed in 1981 that dealt with the treatment of mental health patients.

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