SB 121 Requires safe staffing and quality care in all veterans homes and mental health facilities
Sponsor: Bray
LR Number: 0431S.01I Fiscal Note: 0431-01
Committee: Pensions, Veterans' Affairs and General Laws
Last Action: 1/13/2005 - Second Read and Referred S Pensions, Veterans' Affairs and General Laws Committee Journal Page: S85
Title: Calendar Position:
Effective Date: August 28, 2005

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Current Bill Summary


SB 121 - This act regards the safe staffing and quality care in Veterans homes and mental health facilities operated by the Division of Comprehensive Psychiatric Services and the Division of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities within the Department of Mental Health.

This act requires that all veterans homes and Mental Health facilities adopt minimum staffing ratios, as specified within the act, and employ sufficient and necessary direct care staff, over and above the minimum safety ratios currently specified in statute.

Some of the many other provisions of the act are:

- Certain care staff shall not be assigned any additional duties;

- If a client residing in a veterans home or mental health facility is hospitalized in a general acute care hospital, the direct care staff from the mental health facility or the Veterans home shall not be transferred to such hospitals;

- Veterans home management and mental health facility management shall be responsible for any harm to clients resulting from insufficient staffing;

- Mandatory overtime shall not be used as a substitute for sufficient staffing; and

- Each veterans home and mental health facility shall document and submit certain information to the Missouri veterans Commission or the Department of Mental health on a monthly basis.

The act sets out provisions regarding mandatory and voluntary overtime.

Certain forms, subject to public inspection upon request, shall be used by direct care staff, clients, their representatives and guardians, and representatives of direct care workers to document noncompliance with the law. In the case of veterans homes, the Executive Director of the Missouri veterans commission, and in the case of mental health facilities, the Director of the Department of health, shall investigate all complaints and the act establishes a means for the remedy of those violations. The act also contains protections for whistle blowers. Any person who sustains personal injuries arising from violations shall have a cause of action for damages.

This act is identical to SB 1292 (2004).

JIM ERTLE