June 9 2014

Grimy West Haven VA Operating Room Had an Insect Infestation

National Review

Zachary Janowski of Raising Hale has a gag-inducing story from one Veterans Affairs facility in Connecticut:

The VA in Connecticut has avoided problems with prolonged waits. However, in February, the same agency reported on insect problems and cleanliness in the operating room.

“Flying and crawling insects have been an ongoing problem in the [operating room] for about 8 years,” the report says. Staff told inspectors insect problems are seasonal and some believed the overnight cleaning staff ate food in the OR, contributing to the problem.

Complaints from employees in an anonymous survey prompted the review of operating room cleanliness at the VA’s West Haven campus.

… “Staff reported that when they arrived for the first cases of the day, they often found indications that rooms had not been terminally cleaned the previous evening. For example, they would find debris and dust on the floor under furniture and equipment, indicating that the furniture and equipment had not been moved to accommodate terminal cleaning,” the report says. “Also, trash was not emptied, and restrooms were not clean.”

One overnight cleaning position remained vacant from January 2013 at least until inspectors visited last summer. The vacancy reduced the cleaning crew from three to two employees. Attendance problems also contributed to problems, with one in five members of the cleaning staff noting report to work “on an average workday.”

Janowski (who, by the way, is a first-rate investigative reporter) also reports that despite failing to fill vacancies for the cleaning crew in West Haven, the top-paid human resources manager earned a $5,000 bonus—“the second-largest award in Connecticut last year” – in addition to his $130,000 salary.

Read the whole thing here.

— Jillian Kay Melchior is a Thomas L. Rhodes Fellow for the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity. She is also a senior fellow at the Independent Women’s Forum.

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