Plan to ease staff shortages at two state hospitals

CHARLESTON (AP) — A judge has approved a plan to ease staff shortages at two West Virginia psychiatric hospitals.

According to media reports, Kanawha County Circuit Judge Duke Bloom approved the plan for the Department of Health and Human resources hospitals.

In doing so, he dismissed potential contempt charges against the department for failure to comply with court orders.

The plan involves the William R. Sharpe Jr. Hospital in Weston and the Mildred Mitchell-Bateman Hospital in Huntington.

Under the plan, DHHR will order market rate studies for both hospitals to determine competitive wages for direct-care workers.

The plan also would institute a special hiring rate and 3-percent retention incentives each year, but would not include additional incentives for years served.

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