SEIU Releases Report on East Bay Nursing Homes
"Most" East Bay nursing homes have been cited by the state Department of Health Services for a range of problems, most of which could be remedied with increased staffing, according to a Service Employees International Union report released yesterday. The report, part of the union's continuing investigation of California nursing homes, focused on citations issued by the state Department of Health Services to nearly 100 state-licenced homes in Alameda, Contra Costa and northern Santa Clara counties. The report found that all 32 state-licensed nursing homes in the cities of Fremont, Hayward, San Leandro and in northern Santa Clara County had been cited for violations, as well as all 27 state-licensed homes in central and eastern Contra Costa County and 94% of homes in Richmond, Berkeley and Oakland. Sen. Don Perata (D-Oakland) agreed with SEIU that most of the problems result from "inadequate staffing" and said that he supported a bill (AB 1075) proposed by Assembly member Kevin Shelley (D-San Francisco) that would require nursing homes to reduce their nurse-to-patient ratios. But Kelley Queale, spokesperson for the California Association of Health Facilities, said that with the state's shortage of "about 50,000" certified nursing assistants, she "wasn't sure setting lower ratios would work." The SEIU has already compiled reports on Los Angeles and Sacramento nursing homes and plans to release studies on homes in San Francisco and the rest of the Bay Area in the coming month (Pimental, San Francisco Chronicle, 4/11).