Report: VA Ignored Whistleblower Complaints at Manchester VAMC

Jan 25, 2018

VA Secretary David Shulkin at the Manchester VA in August 2017. During his visit, he promised a “top to bottom” review of the whistleblowers’ allegations.
Credit Peter Biello/NHPR
 

A new report says the Department of Veterans Affairs has been reluctant to acknowledge fault with how some patients were treated by the VA facility in Manchester. 

 

The report comes from the US Office of Special Counsel (or OSC), the agency in charge of reviewing the VA's response to recent whistleblower allegations.

 

About a dozen Manchester VA employees became whistleblowers last year when they went public with accusations of mismanaged care that harmed patients.

 

The report alleges that the VA has been too quick to paint a rosy picture of what happened. 

 

The report accuses the VA of failing to investigate accusations of rusty surgical equipment, calling this failure evidence of a quote "myopic approach" to the VA's self-investigation.

 

The report also says it should not have taken a Boston Globe report to prompt the VA to remove two allegedly problematic administrators from their positions. Manchester VA Director Danielle Ocker and Chief of Staff James Schlosser were removed from their positions a day after the appearance of the Globe's report. 

In a statement, VA Spokesman Curt Cashour says, "VA appreciates the Office of Special Counsel’s review, but we disagree with OSC’s contention that we were slow to address these concerns."