Conditions improve at Maine psychiatric hospital, report claims

Seth Koenig | BDN
Seth Koenig | BDN
Daniel Wathen, as seen in this BDN file photo, filed a report showing some conditions have improved at the Riverview Psychiatric Center in Augusta.
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Riverview lost federal certification years ago because of concerns that included the use of stun guns, pepper spray and handcuffs on patients.
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AUGUSTA, Maine — A new report finds that conditions at a Maine psychiatric hospital have improved for both patients and workers.

The Kennebec Journal reports a report filed in Kennebec County Superior Court last week finds fewer mandatory overtime shifts at Riverview Psychiatric Center.

Daniel Wathen filed the report as part of his role monitoring how Maine complies with a court decree that governs the state’s treatment of people with mental illness.

Wathen said monthly overtime tours have dropped from 2,900 in March 2014 to 240 in March 2018.

Riverview lost federal certification years ago because of concerns that included the use of stun guns, pepper spray and handcuffs on patients.

The loss of certification has jeopardized $20 million in annual federal funding. Riverview is readying for an upcoming visit from federal regulators.

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