Wallingford Nursing Home Fined $7,500, Must Hire Monitor
Written by Jeff Meyer on July 4, 2015
A nursing home in Connecticut has not only been slapped with a $7,500 fine from the state’s Department of Public Health but will also be subject to outside monitoring for three months in the wake of a patient care scandal.
For a minimum of three months, the nursing home will be subjected to the oversight of a nurse monitor in order to ensure that the multiple violations observed by DPH investigators at the Brook Hollow Health Care nursing home in Wallingford are a thing of the past. Over the course of several days in late October of 2014, the investigators uncovered a wide array of violations being committed by nursing home staff. Official documents list several violations, including:
- Failing to keep rooms of residents clean and sanitary
- Instances of neglect and abuse
- Inadequately investigating grievances of residents
- Not informing doctors of crucial patient data
- Disregarding limited or no availability of required medications for residents
- Not providing meals to residents in a timely manner
Other reports from the investigation conducted by DPH officials included professional hospital staff being verbally abusive to residents. In one instance, public records show that a licensed practical nurse employed by the nursing home had declared in a loud voice that she wished to slap one of her patients while in front of a resident.
The inspectors also learned that many of the problems at Brook Hollow could be traced to staff cuts dating to 2013. Employees told DPH officials that limited staff availability led to care standards declining precipitously; in addition, other staff members made the decision to leave the nursing home after witnessing this decline and making the decision that their working conditions had become unsafe, according to DPH documents.
As a result of the violations uncovered by the DPH in their investigations, the nursing home’s management team has been completely restructured up to and including a new executive director – and a new name. According to Christine Fitzgerald, who was hired in March to oversee the rehabilitation of the nursing home, she and the rest of the new management team have a commitment to rehabilitating the institution.
In an interview with the New Haven Register, Fitzgerald remarked that her team is working closely with the DPH-appointed nurse monitor. The executive director stated that the management team has addressed the entirety of the violations uncovered in the state survey, adding that the health and safety of the residents of the nursing home is the staff’s first priority.
A New Name, A New Leaf?
The nursing home has not only turned over a new leaf but has also changed its name as well. Now known as the Village Green of Wallingford Rehabilitation and Health Center, the care facility and its management team are making an obvious effort to put the past behind them and regain a reputation for proper care for its residents.
However, it’s unclear what will happen once the monitoring nurse is no longer present at the nursing home, especially since recorded instances of poor care didn’t end in October of 2014. In fact, Brook Hollow (now Village Green) faced an additional fine stemming from an incident where a resident choked to death in early February of 2015 when a poorly trained nurse’s aide had provided a resident requiring pureed food with the wrong meal. A new action plan was implemented by nursing home management days after the incident to prevent another deadly mistake.
Tales of such horrors are, distressingly, becoming more common across the US as nursing homes struggle with under-staffing and poor management. If you have suspicions that your own loved ones may be suffering, contact the authorities – and an experienced elder care attorney – immediately.