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A man was found ‘soiled’ and with scratches on his body. So where was the home care aide?

Here’s how Washington state deals with health care provider complaints

The Washington State Department of Health can impose fines, require counseling or re-training and impose practice limitations or suspension from practice on health care providers.
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The Washington State Department of Health can impose fines, require counseling or re-training and impose practice limitations or suspension from practice on health care providers.

The state has suspended the credential of a Whatcom County home care aide who admitted to being drunk on the job.

The Washington Department of Health announced the suspension for John Edward Herbert on Thursday, June 27.

The allegations stem from his employment at Lake Whatcom Center, which helps those who are mentally ill on an outpatient basis and in a residential setting.

Here’s what the agency says happened, as laid out by its documents online:

On the morning of Jan. 27, 2018, employees found a person, identified only as Resident A in documents, lying on the center’s front sidewalk. They didn’t know how long Resident A had been outside.

Resident A had scratches on his head and arms. He was “soiled.”

Herbert was the residential staff member on shift. Workers, trying to report the incident, pounded on his door and yelled his name but got no response despite trying repeatedly.

Later that day, Herbert admitted that he had been intoxicated.

Kie Relyea has been a reporter at The Bellingham Herald since 1997 and currently writes about social services and recreation in Whatcom County. She started her career in 1991 as a reporter and editor in Northern California.
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