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Gov. Sandoval voices concern over reports of patient dumping

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Updated: 4/17/2013 9:50 pm
LAS VEGAS (KSNV & MyNews3)-- Governor Brian Sandoval is finally going on record about a state psychiatric hospital's policy of bussing patients out of state.

It's been reported that a local man was discharged from Rawson Neal Hospital here in Las Vegas and sent to Sacramento where he didn't know a soul.

Governor Sandoval spoke with news 3's Marissa Mike about the controversy.

Governor Brian Sandoval says he's truly concerned and wants answers. He's waiting for the full results of a state and federal investigation of the Rawson Neal Hospital. 

Once he gets them, he expects action to be taken to fix any problems.

"I will say this, I'm very concerned about the situation and we're investigating the matter," Gov. Sandoval said. “I am absolutely concerned about it. As soon as I have all the facts, the we'll start making decisions.”

The Sacramento Bee reports 1,500 discharged patients from Rawson Neal have been put on a bus and sent out of state for years. In February, one of those patients, James Brown, a schizophrenic, was sent to Sacramento where he knew no one and had no one waiting for him.

"We've already conducted two investigations, one internal investigation and one conducted for the federal government. If there's any issues with credentials, or anything like that, we'll make sure that they're taken care of."

The results of the internal investigation were sent to News 3 citing multiple cases where policy was not followed including a lack of thorough documentation, to consent forms not signed by patients about medications they'd received.

Nevada has slashed funding for mental health. Sandoval says it's time to put more money back in.

"We've already done it. We included close to $1 million for services outside of the ER and we just put in another $4 million for transition from jail to the public.

Meantime, Rawson Neal administrators responded to the investigation's findings saying they would improve administrative policy and procedures by increasing oversight of discharged planning.

But the question is: is that enough?

Upon reading the internal investigation results, former Director Stuart Gerthner says it's going to take more than administrative changes to fix these problems. He says it's going to take an in-depth look at the quality of clinical care.

As for the governor, he's standing by the Las Vegas state psychiatric facility even in its darkest hour.

"I think there is a good quality of care," Ralston said. "If there's a problem we're going to correct it."

We are still waiting for the results of a federal investigation into Rawson Neal Hospital. Those are expected to come in about a month.

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