Mental Health Center Improving, Still Short of Federal Reqs.

Published 04/01 2014 06:16PM

Updated 04/01 2014 06:38PM

by Victoria Price

LUBBOCK, TX --  A report released this week shows the Lubbock State Supported Living Center now meets 64 federally-mandated requirements. But, the facility is still shy of full compliance by almost 100 provisions.

During their most recent review earlier this year, the center gained compliance in 12 sections, and maintained compliance in 52.

Neil Davidson is the father of Susan Davidson, a patient at the center for nearly 16 years. He says he's pleased with the care his daughter has received, and that the out-of-compliance rating isn't necessarily anything to frown at.

"Everyone, from the housekeeping to the food service, they all know Susan by her smile," Davidson says. "And the real test for whether her needs are being met is really whether she has a smile more often or not."

The report by independent monitors shows the center is still failing to meet all it's federal requirements. They conceded the facility had improved in a number of areas, such as full compliance in the "protection from harm" category. Areas that need to be improved include nurse staffing and adequate dental care.  

However, Davidson says the report doesn't tell the whole story.

"Those reports aren't regarding moving from poor care to basic care," he explains. "These are reports on what progress they're making from basic care, which they've always met, to high quality care throughout the state."

He added that the out of compliance areas are inevitably difficult, given the severity of the patients' disabilities.

"The areas they're having trouble with, most are areas that we were having extreme difficulty with as a family," Davidson says. "And dental care was next to impossible. It's just hard to find somebody with the capacity to deal with those kinds of special needs."

As a father, Davidson admits the center still has much room to improve. But, he's confident that with more time and more funding, they'll be able to accomplish full compliancy.

"The catch is, how do you get from 'basic' to 'premier' with very few resources?" he asks? "My daughter's needs are being kept daily and thats what keeps her smiling."

The system overhaul began back in 2009, after the center was sued by the Department of Justice. But, the settlement does not set a specific deadline for when they'll need to meet all requirements.

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