In Virginia, you would file a complaint with the Department of Health Professions. You can submit a complaint in writing and mail, fax, e-mail, or hand-deliver it. You can download the complaint form here. You can also call 1-800-533-1560 and phone in a complaint. Finally, you can make a complaint in person at a department location during business hours.
It’s understandable that you are worried the nursing home will find out you filed a complaint. The fear of retaliation against the family member who may already be receiving substandard care is enough to prevent some people from filing a complain all together. We must stress that if you think a nursing home isn’t taking care of its residents or is violating the law, you should file a complaint. Complaints can be filed anonymously, though depending on the circumstances of the Department’s investigation, eventually your identity may have to be revealed.
While a complaint will alert authorities to the nursing home’s possible abuse, it will not provide compensation for your family member if he or she was already a victim of abuse. The Department can take regulatory and legal action against the nursing home – including shutting it down if violations warrant it – but the Department’s action is separate from a nursing home abuse lawsuit that would compensate your family member. If your family member has been the victim of neglect or abuse, contact our firm to talk to a lawyer who can help you evaluate your claim.