A worker at Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation described dirty conditions and widespread abuse at the facility where a…
A worker at Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation described dirty conditions and widespread abuse at the facility where a virus outbreak has claimed the life of seven children and infected at least 11 others.
The employee said the conditions at the facility must “play a role” in the outbreak. The employee requested anonymity because of concerns about retaliation from the company’s leadership to speak out.
The State Department of Health conducts an investigation into the fatal adenovirus outbreak earlier this month at the Haskell plant. But when the survey continues, the worker gave an insight into the establishment, which the worker described as “filthy”.
They described the descriptions of a mother of a seriously ill 1
year old who had lived at the Wanaque Center. On Wednesday, she told NJ Advance Media about months of relentless conditions that she said that her son lived in – including bug infected rooms – while receiving care at the facility.
“I’ve never seen anything like this,” said the worker. The worker continued to describe dirty rooms, old and rusty equipment, mold, poor maintenance and managers who obviously indifferent to the concerns of staff over the years.
“The plant is filthy,” said the worker. “There would be” bin sometimes in the patient’s room. “
The worker said that “the equipment is rusty or functional”.
The worker blames the problems of the facility on the management that took over four years ago. Since then, the employee has said that focus has been on reducing costs and reducing staff wherever possible.
In 2014, Wanaque Center was transferred by Continuum Healthcare LLC, Marlton, which operates six other plants in New Jersey and at least two in Pennsylvania.
Wanaque Center is a 227-bed for wine establishment which has a pediatric device for medically fragile children who often need continuous monitoring and treatment.
In its latest health inspection report, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services gave the facility an “below average” rating. The report from 2017 said that the facility “failed to ensure that infection control practices were followed”.
The employee said the state health care workers visited the plant in August and told employees that a carpet had to be removed immediately due to the dirty condition.
The carpet remained, said the worker.
The employee further alleged that the plant’s managers only seemed to be concerned about purity when they knew that health professionals would come to an inspection.
“(These patients) deserve to take care,” allow the worker. “They do not even get a quarter of what they pay for.”
Rowena Bautista, administrator of Wanaque Center, had told NJ Advance Media in a statement that the facility “promptly notified all appropriate authorities when the virus was initially identified.”
A Philadelphia-based media-related company issued a statement commissioned by the facility late on Thursday afternoon saying: “Our thoughts are with families and loved ones affected by this tragedy.”
The company, however, did not address claims of the worker who spoke with NJ Advance Media.
The statement added that the facility has taken “a number of important steps to support this sad community and our families” including offering grief counseling to anyone affected and “working side by side with medical experts from the Ministry of Health and CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and will be in constant contact with them until this issue is fully resolved. “
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