Members of SEIU-UHW working at Parkview Community Hospital in Riverside have charged the hospital with allowing maggots in cafeteria food, even alleging that maggots were found in a patient’s nose, according to the Los Angeles Times.
In a letter to the California Department of Public Health written Monday, Fidel Mahangel, Research Analyst for the SEIU United Healthcare Workers, charged:
In the last 4 months, there have been at least 2 reports of maggots at Parkview Hospital. In late April 2015, employees observed maggots in the lentil soup served to staff and patients in the hospital cafeteria. One worker reported the incident to the nursing director who then notified the Chief Nursing Officer; it is unclear what steps were taken to take care of the situation. The employee also reported this incident to the Riverside County Health Department, and an inspection may have been conducted. Additionally, earlier this year (February 2015) a worker in the ICU found numerous maggots in a patient’s mouth after providing oral care.
In a statement from SEIU, hospital employee Willie Conley asserted, “Management at Parkview Community Hospital is undermining the facility to the point where it’s a struggle to safely care for patients. We have expressed a number of concerns and we believe the public should understand what’s going on behind the hospital’s doors so corrective action can quickly be taken.”
Hospital spokesman David Silver said bluntly, “It’s totally false; they are lying,” adding that a public health investigation “will show that.”
Other complaints from SEIU included overcrowding in the emergency room and overextended wait times for fast-track patients with less serious issues, the lack of sanitation for chairs occupied by patients, and the use of uncertified vehicles instead of ambulances to transport patients.
The California Department of Public Health fined Parkview $50,000 after a 2009 incident in which a surgeon removed the wrong kidney from a Spanish-speaking patient. Investigators found that the patient, Francisco Torres, was not supplied with an interpreter, and the kidney with tumors was left intact. Torres later filed suit.