South Sound News

Commissioner orders 'special master' for Western State

A sign near the main entrance of Western State Hospital in Lakewood, Wash. (AP photo)

A Pierce County court commissioner has ordered the state to appoint a "special master" to oversee changes in admissions policies at Western State Hospital.

Commissioner Craig Adams' ruling also calls for the state to adopt a goal of ending "psychiatric boarding" within six months.

The News-Tribune says Friday's ruling also tells the state to adopt new policies for admitting long-term patients to the psychiatric hospital in Lakewood.

Officials with the Department of Social and Health Services say they will review the order before responding.

The opinion is the latest salvo in a long-running dispute over admissions policies at Western State Hospital.

At issue are the often long waits people with mental illness must endure before being admitted to the hospital.

Information from: The News Tribune,

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