Wednesday, November 21, 2007

California Healthline

Hospital News Roundup for November 16, 2007
Coalinga State Hospital

Patients and some employees at Coalinga State Hospital say staffing shortages and standoffs between patients and administrators are impeding psychiatric and medical care at the facility, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The hospital was opened in 2005 to treat high-risk sex offenders who have completed their sentences but were not released because of perceived mental illnesses.

However, 75% of the hospital's more than 600 patients refuse to participate in a core treatment program, and not a single patient has completed treatment and been released, according to the latest data from August. Meanwhile, 26 of the hospital's 37 staff psychiatrist positions are vacant, leaving police officers to fill in for roles normally designated for clinicians, the Times reports (Gold/Romney, Los Angeles Times, 11/15).

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