Inspectors Find State Home Failed Veterans, TBI Investigating
(Story created: 6/23/06)
There are mounting troubles for the Tennessee State Veterans Home in Murfreesboro, including growing allegations of patient neglect. State health inspectors have now confirmed what a NewsChannel 5 investigation uncovered.
In addition, NewsChannel 5 has learned that the TBI is now investigating the conditions and treatment of residents at the Tennessee State Veterans Home.
This comes after investigators with the state health department were alarmed by what they found at the Murfreesboro facility.
"We just do not want patients to be subjected to this kind of care," said Judy Eads with the Tennessee Department of Health.
State inspectors spent more than a week earlier this month and found more than half of the residents they checked out had severe to extreme bedsores
The state found the home failed to prevent and treat bed sores, failed to protect its residents from harm, failed to follow doctors orders, failed to notify doctors of changes in residents' conditions and failed to make sure that nurses' aides received proper training.
"I think their system pretty much failed, as far as meeting the needs of the residents that they have at the facility," Eads said.
The state has now declared this facility as putting its residents in immediate jeopardy. It has banned it from taking any new patients.
The nursing home must also pay $6,000 a day in fines until all of the problems uncovered are fixed.
"They will have to put something in place to make sure this does not occur again," Eads said.
Yet, the head of the nursing home, William Sullivan, told NewsChannel 5:
"We disagree with the severity of the findings. We feel that we're giving good, quality care for our veterans. This is a good place. I'm proud of the staff, and they work hard."
State lawmakers evidentially aren't convinced. Many were visibly shaken earlier this month as they heard from families of residents describe conditions at the state-run home
"The state of Tennessee needs to do this job correctly or not do it at all," Sen. Mark Norris, R-Collierville, said.
For now, the state said it's going to keep someone on-site to monitor what's being done at the nursing home and to make sure conditions there improve.
This was not the first time the Veterans Home has been written up for problems with patient care. Last fall, inspectors also cited the home for failing to meet the needs of its residents.