Hospitals
4:47 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

West Haven VA Hospital in Spotlight for Unsanitary Conditions

The West Haven VA Hospital.
The West Haven VA Hospital.
Credit Connecticut VA Healthcare System

U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal has asked the Connecticut VA Healthcare System to report in a month how it will ensure sanitary conditions at its West Haven hospital. Blumenthal, a member of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, visited the hospital Friday morning after a VA Inspector General's report outlined several areas of concern from a June 2013 inspection at the VA hospital. 

"There's simply no excuse for failing to fill about a third of the positions necessary to clean the operating room, and maintain basic sanitary and safe conditions."
Sen. Richard Blumenthal

Inspectors found dirty operating rooms, inadequate infection control, and an insect problem. The report stated cleaning staff were not showing up.

Blumenthal said there's no excuse for what was going on. "People on the job roles need to be there," he said, "not 20 percent absenteeism. And the jobs need to be filled. There’s simply no excuse, none for failing to fill about a third of the positions necessary to clean the operating room, and maintain basic sanitary and safe conditions. The resources are there, but the management and supervision need to be improved."

The report says there was no evidence that the problems harmed patients. Connecticut's delegation to the U.S. House also sent a letter to the head of the VA health care system asking for an update.

The Connecticut VA Healthcare System issued a statement earlier this week saying many of the problems have been addressed, and they're working on other improvements.