On Monday, the office of Senator Doug Jones announced he has requested an investigation into recent allegations of neglect and mistreatment of veterans at the Floyd E. “Tut” Fann State Veterans Home in Huntsville.
Senator Jones wrote a letter to Michael Missal, Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, requesting that the agency investigate the allegations and the federal VA facility inspection process.
Jones's office says reports of mistreatment at Tut Fann surfaced last week when former employees of the state-owned facility said that staff negligence led to the mistreatment of veterans in their care. He says despite the facility passing a federal inspection in August 2018, employees allege negligence that led to bed sores, improper feeding of veterans and an inadequate response to a Scabies outbreak.
Jones's office says, although the facility was determined to be “deficiency free” during last year’s inspection, employee reports of negligence at the facility go back years, and the facility has an official record of violations that dates back to 2013.
“This fact begs the question: was the 2018 inspection of the facility deeply flawed, or was the evaluation intentionally misrepresentative?” Senator Jones wrote in the letter.
“I am asking that you investigate these allegations and the apparent failures in our inspection process that led to these egregious circumstances in Huntsville,” Senator Jones said. “I am committed to working with you and my colleagues in Congress to ensure the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has all resources necessary to fulfill this mission.”
Legislation signed into law in 2018 requires the federal VA to submit an annual report to Congress on the ratings given to VA-run nursing homes.