Western Kansas mental hospital workers decry short staffing

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Two employees of the state’s mental hospital in western Kansas have told legislators that staffing shortages there have created dangerous conditions.

And the top administrator at the state Department for Aging and Disability Services acknowledged Monday that many of the employees’ complaints about Larned State Hospital are valid.

Employees Kyle Nuckolls and Lynette Lewis testified before a joint legislative oversight committee about conditions at the hospital.

They said workers are frequently forced to work from 12 to 16 hours a day for five or six days a week. They said employees fear they’ll be disciplined if they refuse to work overtime.

Interim Secretary Tim Keck said KDADS is addressing staffing problems in the short-term with several initiatives. He said he’s visited Larned multiple times since the year started.

 

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 

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