Report investigates 2015 allegations about care at Hampton VA Medical Center

HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) — 10 On Your Side has been reporting on a lot of different issues with the Hampton VA Medical Center, and the VA in general.

A report from the Department of Veterans Affairs Inspector General’s Office looked into a long list of allegations made in one complaint nearly two years ago.

This health care inspection conducted by the Veteran Affairs Office of the Inspector General came at the request of U.S. Senator Mark Warner.

Sen. Warner finds several issues during Hampton VAMC visit

The 2015 request is in response to complaints about the delivery of care to a single patient on the Hampton campus, but there were concerns about care to other residents too.

The two-day inspection was conducted in June 2015 at the Community Living Center (CLC), located at the Hampton VA Medical Center campus. The CLC is a long term care facility

Following the inspection, here is what was substantiated as true:

  • CLC staff lacked knowledge to properly care for a patient with a catheter used to drain urine from the bladder
  • CLC staff failed to carry out some physician orders as written
  • CLC staff did not consistently document checks for well-being and skin assessments
  • An appropriate mattress was not obtained in a timely manner for the resident.

But not all the news at the CLC is not.

The inspection could not substantiate the following:

  • Staff failed to weigh residents, take vital signs as ordered, address residents’ dining assistance needs
  • During lunch time, staff took breaks and made residents wait to be cleaned
  • Weekend staff failed to keep daily routines for residents
  • CLC staff left medications at the resident’s bedside
  • CLC staff were not routinely cleaning or sanitizing  reusable medical equipment, including beds

Following the inspection, the assistant inspector general for health care inspections made the following recommendations:

  • Make sure staff has knowledge to properly care for patient with a catheter
  • Make sure CLC staff carry out physician orders.
  • Make sure CLC staff conduct and document resident checks for well-being
  • Make sure CLC staff conduct skin assessments
  • Make sure CLC staff document activities of daily living assistance as required
  • Make sure procedures are followed for obtaining special care beds and mattresses

The findings also could not determine if call lights from patients were ignored. The inspection discovered call lights could be turned off at the nurses’ desk without staff actually checking on the patients. During the inspection, staff reconfigured the system so the call light could only be turned off at the patient’s bed.

10 On Your Side contacted the Hampton VAMC and they sent the following email in response:

Leadership of the Hampton VAMC take seriously all concerns related to the delivery of patient care to include those identified in the 2015 [Office of the Inspector General] site team visit report. Immediate actions were taken on the four substantiate allegations and controls put in place to ensure the highest level of quality care is provided to our veterans. “