Larned State Hospital

http://www.kdads.ks.gov

State officials overseeing mental health hospitals and an employee labor union are disputing over whether a hospital in west-central Kansas was staffed at minimum standards.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that an email released by the Kansas Organization for State Employees says Larned State Hospital was inadequately staffed in all units Monday. The union says staffing is a continual problem for the hospital, which has had to ask workers to come in.

Bloomsberries / flickr Creative Commons

A lawsuit challenging Kansas’ civil commitment of sexually violent predators has been dismissed. The plaintiffs remain involuntarily confined at Larned State Hospital.

Since 1994, Kansas has required that people found to be sexually violent, and likely to reoffend, be involuntary confined in a state facility and undergo treatment.

The 20-plus patients who sued claimed high staff turnover and inadequate access to treatment made it extremely difficult to complete the program, and had left them in indefinite confinement in prison-like conditions.

Kansas News Service

The leader of the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services wants the state’s two psychiatric hospitals to be exempt from a concealed carry law set to take effect in July.

KDADS Secretary Tim Keck told a legislative committee this week that the department is seeking authorization to continue banning concealed guns in Osawatomie and Larned state hospitals. The two hospitals treat people with mental health conditions who are considered a danger to themselves or others.

Meg Wingerter / Kansas News Service/File photo

Kansas’ two state-run psychiatric hospitals would lose nearly $20 million under the budget proposed by Gov. Sam Brownback.

In the current fiscal year, Osawatomie and Larned state hospitals are relying on state funds to make up for the loss of federal funding. Brownback’s recommendations for the fiscal year that starts in July would end that practice, leaving it to the hospitals to make up the lost revenue.

Courtesy KDADS

Attorney Bill Rein has been named to head the troubled state mental hospital at Larned, in central Kansas. As Heartland Health Monitor’s Bryan Thompson explains, the facility has long-standing problems hiring and keeping an adequate workforce.

Interim Secretary Tim Keck, of the Kansas Department on Aging and Disability Services, calls Rein the right person at the right time for the challenges facing Larned State Hospital.

PHIL CAUTHON / KHI News Service/File photo

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback this week signed bills that prevent privatizing troubled state mental hospitals unless lawmakers approve. There have been staff shortages and other issues at the Larned and Osawatomie state hospitals.

Tim Keck, interim secretary of the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services, has said in the past he wants to at least consider the option of privatizing state hospitals. This week, Brownback was asked by a reporter if privatizing the facilities is a long-term solution for the problems.

Phil Cauthon for KHI News Service

Two separate Kansas legislative committees have approved proposals from Republican Gov. Sam Brownback to provide an additional $17 million to the state's two mental hospitals.

The decisions Thursday by the House Appropriations Committee and the Senate Ways and Means Committee mean both chambers will consider the spending as part of broader budget legislation next week.

The extra funds will provide pay raises and offset lost federal funds over the next 15 months.

http://www.kdads.ks.gov

Workers from the Larned State Hospital say staffing shortages have created difficult and unsafe working conditions at the mental facility. Two employees told a legislative committee yesterday about the challenges they face.

Kyle Nuckolls says staff often work 12- to 16-hour shifts multiple days in a row at the western Kansas facility and they can’t take time off for family emergencies or illness. He says the long shifts lead to worker mistakes and other challenges.

Interim Superintendent Named At Larned State Hospital

Apr 13, 2016
http://www.kdads.ks.gov

A health care consultant with experience in hospital turnarounds will take over the top job at Larned State Hospital for the next six months. The Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services announced Wednesday that Chris Mattingly will serve as interim superintendent of the facility.

The announcement comes on the heels of the resignation of former superintendent for the hospital Tom Kinlen. Larned faces ongoing challenges in hiring and retaining staff; earlier this year, internal reports found that employees racked up significant overtime hours.

http://www.kdads.ks.gov

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback’s administration is moving mental health inmates between state facilities as a way to alleviate staffing shortages. The plan includes moving dozens of inmates with mental health issues from Larned State Hospital units to another facility run by the Kansas Department of Corrections.

Brownback says the inmates will still receive psychiatric services once they’re moved.

“You want to make sure that you’ve got people in the right place so you can maximize your space and your utilization of it. Those are management things,” Brownback says.

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