All licensed nursing homes in California are licensed and certified by the California Department of Public Health, which conducts an annual inspection of every licensed skilled nursing facility in the state. In addition, the DPH is charged with the duty to investigate complaints of neglect or abuse, and issue the results of its investigation. Here is some general information about making a complaint against a nursing home.
First, who can make a complaint? Under California law, any person can make a complaint about a nursing home; it does not just have to be the resident, family member, or responsible party. Complaints may be made anonymously.
When is a good time to make a complaint? A complaint should be made whenever one considers the treatment problems to be serious enough to report. It is usually a good idea to express your complaints to the facility first, but if you feel like you’re not being taken seriously, call DPH.
Where are complaints made? Complaints should be made at the nearest district office of the DPH. There are several offices in Southern California, and contact information can be found at the Walton Law Firm website by clicking here.
What information should I give DPH? In short, everything. Before you speak to an investigator, it’s a good idea to write your complaint down so you don’t forget anything. Focus on the facts, and not your own opinions about the situation.
As a complainant, you will be notified of the name of the investigator assigned to your complaint within two days of the date the complaint is made. In addition, the nursing facility may not retaliate against a resident for a complaint that is made. In fact, any type of discriminatory treatment made against a nursing home resident within 180 days of a formal complaint is presumed to be retaliatory.
For more information about making a complaint against a nursing home, visit the website of California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform. The CANHR page How To File A Complaint can be found by clicking here.
The nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers at Walton Law Firm LLP provide free consultations to individuals and families who believe a loved one has been abused or neglected in the nursing home or assisted living setting. Cases are accepted in all Southern California counties, including San Diego, Orange, Riverside, Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Ventura. Call (866) 607-1325 for a free and confidential consultation