Air conditioning problems at VA nursing home spark complaints from residents

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RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) – A local nursing home is under investigation by the Virginia Department of Health after residents complained the air conditioning has been broken for days.

The nursing home at the center of this investigation is Envoy of Westover Hills in Richmond.

Wednesday afternoon, patients were sitting outside in the heat and said that it was cooler outside then it was indoors.

The facility’s executive director said Tuesday night’s storms are to blame, but one patient said that is far from the truth.

“Even though they were having air conditioning running, there was no air coming out,” said the patient who wished to remain anonymous.

The resident said the lack of A/C has been going on for six days and management was only willing to help patients who medically required air.

“I had to pay money out of my own pocket change to buy me a fan today,” she said.

She added that when the health department showed up, she told them the same story. She feels that patients are being taken advantage of because they are elderly or disabled.

“I’m not doing this for me because I’m really scared they’re going to put me out, she said. “I’m doing this for the people who can’t speak for themselves.”

Just last year the facility received similar complaints.

State Department records show in June of 2015, a storm caused the A/C to quit working and management failed to report the incident.

In July of 2015, Envoy at Stratford Hills was dropped by Medicare after state inspectors found a number of deficiencies.

Still, the woman said she wants to be clear that the nursing staff at Envoy isn’t at fault.

“It starts from the top and travels down,” she said. “They’re doing the best they can with what they got.”

The executive director explained to 8News that part of the facility’s power system that is broken just so happens to operate the air conditioning.

He claims the unit should be fixed Thursday morning and that they are fully cooperating with the health departments investigation.

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