2008 0708 mental 01

A report completed last week by the Office of the Ombudsman for Behavioral Health states that the Mildred Mitchell-Bateman Hospital in Huntington is overcrowded and understaffed, and an oversight agency wants the problem fixed within 90 days.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Lawmakers have drafted legislation that would allow temporary workers at state psychiatric hospitals to work for a month longer than they’re currently permitted.

The measure was discussed in an interim health committee meeting Tuesday. It won’t be formally proposed until September at the earliest.

Delegate Don Perdue said extending temporary workers’ tenures would help relieve overworked staff members. The Wayne County Democrat is chairman of the House Health and Human Resources Committee.

Currently, temporary workers can only work at the state’s two acute care psychiatric hospitals, including Mildred Mitchell-Bateman hospital in Huntington, for up to 90 days. The proposal would extend that 125 days.

Perdue said there will likely be more legislation proposed to address crowded conditions at the hospitals.



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