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WFNHP Supports Call for Audit of Milwaukee County Behavioral Health Complex

For Immediate Release          Contact: Candice Owley
April 29, 2010                                            414-899-7070

Statement by Candice Owley, president, Wisconsin Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals in Support of the Call for an Audit of the Milwaukee County Behavioral Health Complex

Quality of care and safety of the patients at the County Behavioral Health Complex is now and always has been a top priority for our union, which is why we stand in full support of the call by State and County legislators for additional audits and investigation of the care at the Complex.

Our union members have been raising concerns about inadequate staffing and the impact on both safe and quality care for many months. In early February of this year, we presented County Executive Scott Walker with a letter informing him of increasing problems with safety at BHD along with over 50 documented cases of unsafe staffing reports from December 2009 and January 2010. Since then, the unsafe conditions have continued with more than 125 additional complaints filed.

The nurses and therapists are struggling daily with inadequate staffing as they attempt to provide quality, safe care. Reports of unsafe staffing throughout the Complex have increased dramatically in the past six months.

The Federation pledges its full cooperation with any investigation and looks forward to working to improve the behavioral health system so that high quality care can be provided.

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WFNHP represents nurses and therapists working for Milwaukee County in addition to 3,000 health professionals throughout the state of Wisconsin.