Nursing home resident shares concerns as Pa. state inspection reports are released

Pa. Department of Health files sanctions against 3 nursing homes related to COVID-19

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Nursing home inspection reports are out for the month of October. The Pennsylvania Department of Health did a total 396 inspections. The majority of those were triggered by complaints, including 175 COVID-19 specific complaints. The rest focused on multiple issues including quality of care, which is always a major concern.

Resident shares concerns

Karen Berry, a resident at The Grove at North Huntingdon nursing home in Irwin, is one of those who filed a complaint with the state. She contacted 11 Investigates to share her concerns.

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Berry has been a resident at the facility since the end of July, when she was admitted for treatment of serious Stage 4 bedsores on her back side.

Berry says she decided to file a complaint with the PA Department of Health after she was repeatedly left sitting in a soiled brief for extended periods of time.

“I had been laying in my waste, if you will, for so long. It’s terrible, because I still have wounds, so it burns,” she said. “It’s very frustrating-- because I had never worn a brief or diaper, before I got here.”

Berry says her physical condition has gotten worse since she arrived at The Grove and is now wheelchair bound.

“Before I got here, I was walking in our home, and now, I’m laying here in this, thinking, you know, what am I supposed to do? I’m very distressed over this.”

Berry says a week after she filed the complaint a state inspector came out to interview her and a few other residents.

A check of the most recent state inspection reports just released shows The Grove at North Huntingdon did receive two quality of care citations.

Three Sanctions Issued

Three nursing homes in Eastern Pennsylvania were issued sanctions today -- Gino J. Merli Veterans Center, Hampton House and Smith Health Care. The sanctions included two provisional 1 licenses and the issuance of three civil penalties totaling $26,750.

“We know that congregate care settings, including nursing homes, have been challenged by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said in the release. “That is why we remain committed to protecting the health and well-being of our most vulnerable Pennsylvanians by continuing to hold nursing home operators accountable, as necessary, to ensure they are providing safe care. If you see something at a nursing home that doesn’t seem right, we encourage you to speak up.”

More information about COVID-19 at all nursing homes can be found on the Department of Health’s COVID-19 nursing home page.

How to file a complaint

If you see or experience a problem at a nursing home, you can contact 11 Investigates to let us know.

You can also file a nursing home complaint with the PA Department of Health. Complaints can be made anonymously by calling 1-800-254-5164, filling out the online complaint form, emailing or sending the complaint in the mail to the department.

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