People in California may have heard about an ongoing complaint against the Los Angeles County Public Health Department, in which they have been accused of falsifying inspection documents in order to cover up their lack of diligence in inspecting complaints against nursing home operators. Two employees of the department recently came forward with these allegations, which should be very concerning to people with loved ones in area assisted living facilities.
According to a letter sent to county, state and federal officials, the employee said she had encountered at least 11 cases of document falsification involving potentially serious cases of nursing home neglect. Under state law, investigations into allegations against nursing homes must be begun within 10 days of receipt of the complaint, but even sooner if the complaint poses a direct threat of serious injury or death to a patient. In some cases, investigations weren’t conducted until much later, including at least one case which wasn’t entered until 79 days later.
For helpless nursing home and assisted living patients, as well as their loved ones, this is absolutely unacceptable. The department of health is supposed to be a lifeline and an enforcer, but sadly it appears some of these cases were swept under the rug or not investigated in a timely manner. It would be even worse if the department attempted to cover their tracks by falsifying important documents.
People shouldn’t wait if they believe their loved ones are in danger or have suffered nursing home neglect, unacceptable living conditions or even abuse. People in this situation should immediately contact an experienced California personal injury attorney to take action to stop nursing home staff from continuing unacceptable practices. They may also potentially be able to obtain compensation for previous incidents of abuse or neglect.
Source: California Healthline “L.A. County Health Dept. Allegedly Falsified Nursing Home Records,” Nov. 10, 2014