The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) recently disclosed that they failed to process and investigate abuse and neglect reports in nursing home facilities between March and June 2020. IDPH has launched an investigation of the ignored complaints. Many Illinois families have contacted a nursing home lawyer to help victims recover compensation.
Abuse Through COVID 19
All through the COVID-19 pandemic, government direction for regulatory agencies required downsizing nursing home regulatory operations to limit the number of people entering these facilities who could expose the residents to the infection.
Therefore, certain oversight tasks and investigations were paused to limit outside contacts entering elderly care facilities to reduce the spread of COVID-19 among the elderly.
Nonetheless, the state did not suspend laws that require complaints of abuse and neglect in nursing homes to be audited within certain deadlines. It’s been found that IDPH staff didn’t finish audits of hundreds of complaints between March 15 and June 30.
As a significant part of its mandate in controlling nursing home facilities, IDPH is needed to review complaints of neglect and abuse to decide if any government or state laws or regulations have been broken by those running the facilities.
IDPH gets and explores a range of misconduct issues, including elder abuse and neglect, and coordinates with the Illinois State Police for investigations.
Under federal and state laws, IDPH responds to complaints in nursing homes by investigating the facilities under specific time frames. Severe cases must be investigated within 24 hours of receiving the complaint. Investigations on other grievances of abuse and neglect must happen within seven days.
IDPH has a duty to guarantee that senior Illinoisans are safe in nursing homes and long-term care facilities. But in the stated time frame, 272 cases of abuse and neglect went unaddressed.
The unresponsiveness and lack of transparency shown by IDPH and the Bureau of Long Term Care are unacceptable. Their inability to ensure the well-being and security of Illinois’ senior populace is inexcusable and has continued for a long time.
If a complaint was not correctly handled, victims can file a personal injury suit.
The IDPH is conducting an investigation, but nursing home lawyers can play a significant role in helping abused residents recover. If a victim’s complaint of neglect and abuse was not promptly or properly responded to, the attorneys can investigate the case and file a lawsuit on the resident’s behalf to help him or her recover compensation for suffering and personal injuries.