Central Hospital employees discuss problems

November 25, 2008 6:26:56 AM PST
Workers at the state's newest mental hospital are coming forward today to talk about problems they say are putting staff and patients at risk.

The situation that prompted the statement by the Public Workers Union happened on Nov. 19.

According to the union, workers on an understaffed ward were told to put restraints on a combative patient.

Five workers supervised by a nurse took that patient to a room where they put him face down on a bed with his arms and legs strapped down. The patient was in that position for about an hour.

One worker involved was fired. Six other were placed on investigative leave.

The incident follows a late opening for the new facility in Butner. Doors opened in July after several delays linked to safety concerns and design problems.