- Office of State Auditor Suzanne M. Bump
Media Contact for Auditor Bump Provides Recommendations for Improvements at the Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke
Mike Wessler, Communications Director
Boston — State Auditor Suzanne M. Bump today released an audit of the Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke (SHH) that provides recommended steps the Home can take to improve safety inspections and overtime procedures at the facility. The Home has reported that it has already begun taking steps to implement the audits recommendations.
“The Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke is responsible for providing our brave men and women with a safe and secure home, and care befitting the sacrifices they have made for us. I’m pleased that the Home has indicated its commitment to implementing our recommendations,” Bump said.
Bump has called for improvements to documentation of inspections of safety equipment, dormitories, and care areas after the Home could not provide evidence that these inspections occurred as required. The Home indicated in the audit report that it is working with the appropriate authorities to implement proper electronic tracking and monitoring of inspections.
The audit also found possible abuse of overtime in the nursing department. The nursing department manager worked 868.45 premium overtime hours, taking in $78,369 in overtime, the need for which could not be substantiated. These deficiencies could result in the Home paying unnecessary payroll costs that are not essential to meeting the care needs of its veterans. The Home indicated in the audit report that they implemented a process requiring approval for overtime work and is exploring additional tools to assist in implementation of this policy.
Bump recently released several audits that aim to improve veterans’ care in the Commonwealth. Earlier this year, Bump released an audit of the Department of Veterans’ Services, which provided recommendations to improve outreach to veterans about benefits for which they may qualify. Last year, Bump released an audit of the Chelsea Soldiers’ Home, which found significant safety and sanitation issues throughout living, eating, and medical facilities, as well as operational issues with equipment. The Legislature recently appropriated $199 million to be spent on the design and construction of a new 154-bed Soldier’s Home in Chelsea.
The Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke was established in 1952 to provide various healthcare services to eligible veterans of the Commonwealth. It operates a healthcare facility with a domiciliary and medical facility.