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Dear Advocate:
Investigating Complaints


Dear Advocate,

I was in a nursing home where they didn’t change me, and where I had to lie in my own waste for hours at a time. I developed an E. coli infection and had to leave the facility. I made a complaint to Licensing five months ago, but they haven’t gotten back to me yet. What do I do?

Sincerely,
Waiting in Waterloo

Dear Waiting:

By law, the Department of Health Services, Licensing & Certification Division (LCD) must initiate an investigation within 10 working days of receipt of a complaint. Within 10 days of completing its investigation, LCD must notify you in writing of its findings. Unfortunately, DHS has been lax in following up on complaints on a timely basis. (See Long Term Care News for details of the problem).

If LCD does not keep you notified as required, contact them to check on the status of your complaint. Know your complaint number, and find out the name and direct phone number of the investigator. Keep a timeline of all correspondence with LCD.

Your complaint and appeal rights are in the California Health & Safety Code, Sections 1419 and 1420. For questions about the complaint process, call CANHR at (800) 474-1116.