This story about the Brockton VA nursing home is appalling. Sadly, it is not surprising. We have looked at a number of cases from this facility and we have recently filed a claim in one. The facts in that matter are pretty awful and entirely consistent with what the Boston Globe has reported.
As is the case with so many of these stories – and there are many of them – it’s not a matter of underfunding or inadequate facilities. It’s basic management. The Brockton facility is poorly run. Employees are not properly trained. Supervision is insufficient. Quality of care is given lip service – at most. Of course, it is the veterans who suffer.
The tale is a familiar one. What makes it even sadder is that there is no doubt that many – most, in fact – VA employees care about veterans. They want them to get good care. The whistleblower who brought this to light is a good example. The management of the facilities, however, is another matter. Spotty is a kind description. The result in many instances is a toxic workplace culture. For employees that may mean the place is not a great work environment. For veterans, that means they are put at risk and not given the attention they need and deserve.
"The VA Needs to Change."
It’s a familiar refrain: The VA needs to change. It will not be easy, as stories like this demonstrate, but it needs to happen.