Governor Halts Admissions To Veterans’ Home

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Knoxville (WVLT) - Problems at the Murfreesboro state veterans' home have forced Governor Bredesen to suspend admissions to all three state facilities. That includes the Ben Atchley Veterans’ Home in West Knox County.

First, it's important to note, that there are no problems here at the Knox County facility, admission is only being suspended here at the request of the governor while the Tennessee State Veterans' Homes Board conducts a review of the state's three facilities.

The Ben Atchley Home is less than a year old and already 100 of the 140 beds are filled.

But deficiencies cited by the Department of Health at the Murfreesboro home will put a halt to new admissions.

A spokesperson with the Department of Veterans' Affairs says the suspension should only last a few days, during that time the department will appoint four "quality assurance nurses" to visit each facility.

"We've not had any problems at Knoxville, but the Governor wanted to make sure, with an abundance of caution, that we don't have the same problems that we've had in Murfreesboro develop in Knoxville and Humboldt,” says Lola Potter from the Tennessee Department of Veterans’ Affairs.

Some of those problems in Murfreesboro have been with documentation; one recommendation to improve care at the facilities might be to hire more people.

In fact, the Murfreesboro facility faced the same situation last summer.

Again, there have been no deficiencies cited here at the Ben Atchley Home in Knox County, but admissions have been suspended by the governor until a review of all three state veterans' homes is complete, that could be as early as the end of the week.

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