A leaked report from the Phoenix VA has vindicated whistleblower Brandon Coleman: The hospital consistently either turned suicidal veterans away without care, or ignored them entirely, as Coleman has long testified.
No one really knows what happened to the veterans who were turned away, CBS 5 reports.
The leaked report, signed by former White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy Robert Nabors, reveals employees failed to seriously monitor the emergency department, meaning suicidal veterans did not receive proper care.
Staff let veterans simply walk out the door. Only five out of ten veterans were checked on by staff. Coleman said at least five others walked out, as well, though they aren’t listed in the report.
The report further substantiated the center was in violation of VA policy by assigning more than one patient to an employee. In one case, a veteran walked into the emergency room to get help for alcoholism and suicidal ideations. Immediately, the vet denied being suicidal when helped by staff. Instead of placing him on hold, staff just let him walk out of the building.
“In the past, the Medical Center did not adequately monitor ED patients with suicidal ideations, some of whom eloped,” the report noted. “Before our site visit, the Medical Center leadership had recognized this issue and redesigned the physical space and practices to reduce the elopement of patients with suicidal ideation.”
Aside from suicidal veterans, the report also looked into Coleman’s claims that staff continued to unnecessarily snoop around his medical records as a form of whistleblower retaliation. This allegation was substantiated, though the report brushed the incident off as “inadvertent” and denied the need for any further action.
“The VA is broken; it’s the most corrupt system there is and the Phoenix area is the worst example of VA healthcare in the United States. This proves they lie,” Coleman told CBS 5.
A group of concerned employees at the Phoenix VA recently released a document showing a list of suicides at the facility due to poor care.
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