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Supervisors Consider Closure Of Aging Burlingame Long-Term Care Facility

BURLINGAME (CBS SF) - The San Mateo County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday will decide whether to close a long-term care facility in Burlingame, a move that could cost as many as 200 jobs and force the transfer of 230 patients who live there.

The Burlingame Long-Term Care facility—a county-run nursing home located at 1100 Trousdale Drive—is housed in an outdated building that is no longer up to modern day standards of care, according to the San Mateo County Health System.

The home does not meet the state's seismic requirements for hospitals, it has limited patient access to outdoor areas, and has small, often crowded residential rooms, according to health officials.

An independent consultant and a San Mateo County Civil Grand Jury have both recommended that the county elect to close the facility when the lease comes up for renewal in June 2013.

"This was a very difficult decision knowing the impact it will have on the Burlingame patients and their families, as well as our staff members," Health System Chief Jean Fraser said in a statement.

"But it is the right decision given the age and condition of the building," she said.

The California Nurses Association and a San Francisco-based patient advocates group plan to fight to keep the facility open.

Mike Connors, a spokesman for the California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform, said that the building is in decent shape and that the county doesn't have the capacity at other care facilities to accommodate all of the long-term care patients who will be forced to move.

"We have grave doubts about whether or not there are nearby facilities that could accommodate the residents," Connors said.

Patient advocates further argue that a relocation would inevitably cause some residents—especially those with dementia—to suffer "transfer trauma," which could risk the lives of patients when they endure the stress of being permanently separated from their familiar caregivers and surroundings, Connors said.

Health System officials have said that they will ensure "a safe and healthy transition" and that they won't close the facility until every patient has a new home.

The county will also make efforts to find jobs for nurses and medical staff at other facilities and provide support for those who can't be accommodated.

Tuesday's Board of Supervisors meeting will start at 9 a.m. at the Westin San Francisco Airport hotel, located at 1 Old Bayshore Highway in Millbrae.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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