A tip this morning proves sadly accurate. A female patient at the State Hospital has died as a result of injuries in what's been described as a suicide attempt in October. Three nurses have been fired and three other employees have been suspended as a result.
Details are very sketchy at this point.
I should add that I heard about this from a supporter of the employees, who believes they are being blamed for operational problems not of their making at the institution.
UPDATE: DHS has released a redacted incident report. The patient hanged herself Oct. 25 in her room with a knotted sheet hanging from the bathroom door. Nurses on the scene administered CPR and got a pulse. She was taken to UAMS by ambulance.
Nothing in the report indicates why the nurses were fired and the other employees suspended.
The Department of Human Services announced today the termination of three nurses and the suspension of three other employees from the Arkansas State Hosptial. Those suspended included two mental health workers and a public safety officer. Hospital administrators took the action against staff based on preliminary findings that staff failed to properly follow incident response procedures. The investigation stemmed from an October incident of attempted suicide by a female client. The client later died from the
injuries sustained during the incident.
"Over the last several months, We have made some very positive changes to the culture at the Arkansas State Hospital," said Jay Bradford, Director of DHS' Division of Behavioral Health. "We have a new facility and much stronger accountability, for which I'm very proud. We must continually reinforce good decision making every day."
The department is not identifying the disciplined staff pending the resolution of grievance procedures for state employees. The division's investigation is still ongoing and once completed, findings will be made available to appropriate licensing boards and regulatory agencies.