Analysts Took No Corrective Action at Closed Long-Term Care Facility
On four occasions, state inspectors found deteriorating conditions at an assisted-living facility in Castro Valley that was shut down by the state, but they took no corrective action to help patients still living there, according to a review of state documents, the San Francisco Chronicle reports (Kane, San Francisco Chronicle, 11/2).
Last month, law enforcement officers discovered that Valley Springs Manor left 19 residents behind after it was shut down by the California Department of Social Services.
The department closed Valley Springs Manor on Oct. 24, and only three employees stayed behind -- without receiving pay -- to take care of the remaining residents, according to the Alameda County Sheriff's Office.
Last week, DSS announced that it will continue to assess why the patients were left at the facility. So far, the department has determined that proper patient relocation procedures were not followed.
In addition, the Alameda County Sheriff's Office has launched a criminal investigation of the facility.
Orrin Grover, an attorney for the owners of Valley Springs Manor, said the employees left behind at the facility were caring for patients while the owners arranged for transfers to other sites (California Healthline, 10/31).
Details of Inspections
During the week that the facility was shut down, state licensing program analysts inspected Valley Springs Manor four times for a total of nearly 21 hours on consecutive days from Oct. 22 to Oct. 25.
- A lack of diapers;
- A food shortage;
- Missed medications;
- Residents living at the facility after it was closed; and
- A missing resident (San Francisco Chronicle, 11/2).
However, none of the reports noted that individuals left to care for the facility's residents were not adequately trained to do so (AP/Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 11/2).
After the final inspection, an analyst told a cook that the facility would be fined $3,800 for operating without a license.
According to DSS' website, inspectors are required to take immediate action when serious problems are discovered at residential care homes, the Chronicle reports (San Francisco Chronicle, 11/2).
In response to reports of the inspections, DSS spokesperson Michael Weston said, "It's clear procedures were not followed ... and that was unacceptable." Weston did not say whether the analysts would face disciplinary actions (Nelson/O'Brien, Oakland Tribune/Contra Costa Times, 11/3).
On Friday, Gov. Jerry Brown (D) said his administration is monitoring the situation. "When we find out what went wrong, we'll take the appropriate action," Brown said (San Francisco Chronicle, 11/2).
Missing Resident Found
Meanwhile, a 65-year-old patient who went missing from Valley Springs Manor was found on Friday at a train station in San Jose.
The man went missing on Oct. 25.
Kurtis Stenderup, spokesperson for the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office, said he was unsure where the man would be relocated once he is released from the hospital (Nelson, Oakland Tribune/Contra Costa Times, 11/3).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.