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Report: Phoenix VA let suicidal patients walk out

PHOENIX (AP) - A report from a federal watchdog agency verifies warnings that the Phoenix Department of Veterans Affairs hospital wasn't properly caring for suicidal patients.

The Arizona Republic reports that the Office of Special Counsel says in letters to the White House and Congress that investigators have verified complaints filed in 2015 by two Carl T. Hayden VA Medical Center counselors.

The employees had said that the emergency room needed more mental health professionals and safeguards to prevent patients from leaving even though they could be a danger to themselves or others.

The VA's Office of Medical Inspector confirmed several related allegations but disputed or failed to substantiate other claims. The office found that at least 10 patients considered at high risk of suicide walked out of the hospital in late 2014 and early 2015.

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Information from: The Arizona Republic 

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press.


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