Board votes to continue operating Bedford County Nursing Home

The Bedford County Nursing Home.
The Bedford County Nursing Home.(WDBJ)
Published: Apr. 26, 2022 at 11:49 AM EDT
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BEDFORD COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ/Bedford County Release) - The Bedford County Board of Supervisors has voted unanimously to continue operating the Bedford County Nursing Home as a county department, according to a county spokesperson. The vote April 23 came a week after a special public hearing regarding the potential sale of the nursing home to a private buyer.

“This is why we have public hearings. The Board received impactful comments from the community and that feedback was important to them in their decision-making process. They listened and processed what they heard, ultimately making the decision to keep the nursing home operating as a county department,” said County Administrator Robert Hiss.

At the public hearing April 18, supervisors listened as members of the public spoke against the proposed deal, citing the “long history of the nursing home in the community as well as concerns about maintaining the facility’s quality environment,” according to the county.

Supervisors were exploring the idea of selling the nursing home due to a list of concerns, including the “complex regulatory environment surrounding nursing homes, staffing shortages over the past couple of years, and the COVID-19 vaccine mandate, which is required for nursing home employees but no other county departments.”

While the nursing home has a waiting list for residents, it is operating at two-thirds capacity because of a shortage of employees, according to the county. To address that, county administration is working with the nursing home and human resources on a new hiring campaign for CNAs and LPNs.

After Monday night’s vote, supervisors also discussed the idea of creating a committee of industry experts to focus specifically on the nursing home, with the goal of reducing the burden of decisions for supervisors. The Bedford County Nursing Home is the only nursing home in the Commonwealth of Virginia that reports to a Board of Supervisors, according to the county.

No decisions were made regarding a committee, but conversations about the nursing home are expected to continue in the coming months.

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