by Andrew Turner

Huntington House of Bradford, the residential care facility ordered closed by the state, had similar problems five years ago that led to the shakeup of management there.

Huntington House is appealing an enforcement order from the state's Department ofLicensingand Registration, which conducted a survey of the facility in December and allegedly found deficiencies relating to the care and safety of patients living there.

The director of Licensing and Registration, Lame Lucenti, said "deficiencies" were found in December after a complaint led to an onsite investigation, yielding an 11page report.

The facility had been given a survey in February of last year and problems arose then. The follow-up surveyshowed repeatoffenses, Lucenti said. Her department sent anenforcementactionagainst facility managers Roland and Randal Huntington, who took over the reins in late 1992 from their father, George Huntington.

"There were problems at that point in time (in 1992) and the brothers took over," Lucenti said, adding the change in management was a stipulation of the corrective procedures taken at that time.

Lucenti was reluctant to specify what the new deficiencies are, but stressed that they had to do with the care and safety of the roughly 18 patients living there.

"I know friends and families are concerned and some people have chosen to leave (Huntington House) to find another place," Lucenti said.

Lucenti also said issues of staffing were a problem as well, but would not be more specific.

TheHuntingtons,meanwhile, claim the deficiencies found by the department haven'thurtthe patients.

"None of the deficiencies have adversely affected the health or wellbeing of the residents," Randal Huntington said in a prepared statement issued Wednesday.

"Huntington House has taken administrative action to suspend with pay (the) assistant manager of the facility, pending a full review of these allegations; the manager has been relieved of his responsibilities for the operation of the facility," Huntington wrote.

"Surveys are normally conducted on a yearly basis," Lucenti said, adding, "This survey was generated as a result of a complaint."

"The normal procedure is that if a problem is found, the caregiver is given the opportunity to submit a plan describing how they plan to correct the proNem," Lucenti said.

Lucenti said in their second survey in December, "Some of the same problems were evident," which led to the decision to bring an enforcement action against the facility.

Since the Huntingtons have appealed, there is a stay on the license revocation until the state's hearing officer reviews the appeal and forwardsa determination to the commissioner.

Until then, the facility is allowed to remain in operation.

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