We knew the Britthaven of Chapel Hill nursing home had substandard care, but today’s news is both terrifying and disheartening. It seems that a team of state inspectors are investigating why nine people living in the facility’s Alzheimer’s unit tested positive for strong pain-control opiate drugs that they weren’t supposed to be receiving. As we posted earlier this week, one patient died.
What the heck has been going on? Three possibilities come to mind:
1. The staff may have been using the drugs to “chemically restrain” the residents—medicating them into silence;
2. There may be rogue, out-of-control employees who are acting without proper supervision;
3. There may be severe medication errors or medication control issues in their facility.
No matter what the explanation, we take these issues seriously, even if the Britthaven of Chapel Hill employees don’t. Based on our dealings with this facility in the past, this is not the first time that there have been medication problems—they have been cited by the state on multiple occasions in the past.
Prior to these most recent events at Britthaven of Chapel Hill, the nursing home had already been identified by the Centers for Medicare Services as a “Special Focus Facility,” which means that they have a history of persistent poor quality of care. Their lapses have resulted in more frequent inspections and monitoring by Medicare. In addition, Britthaven of Chapel Hill has been given the rating of 1 Star by the Centers for Medicare Services, the worst rating possible, further proof its services are much below the national average.
But all those warnings and reprimands didn’t prevent this latest atrocity.
HensonFuerst is currently investigating cases involving patients receiving opiate medications, when they are not prescribed for Alzheimers patients. If you have any information to assist in our investigation, or if you are concerned about a loved one who resides in Britthaven of Chapel Hill nursing home, please give us a call. We want to help.
You can reach our nursing home abuse team by calling 1-800-4-LAW MED.