Legal action to take over Covid-19-hit Skye care home

The Care Inspectorate has applied to sheriff court to cancel the registration of the HC-One-owned Home Farm Care Home.

Legal action to take over Covid-19-hit Skye care home Google 2020
Home Farm: 'Serious concerns' about quality of care.

Legal action has been taken to kick a private care home provider out of a coronavirus-hit care facility on Skye.

The Care Inspectorate has applied to the sheriff court to cancel the registration of the HC-One-owned Home Farm Care Home on the island.

The action could mean new care arrangements being put in place for residents.

Seven residents have died at the home in Portree while 30 of its 34 residents and 29 staff have tested positive for Covid-19.

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The first case detected at the end of April was the first time coronavirus had been confirmed on Skye.

Last week an unannounced inspection of Home Farm by the Care Inspectorate raised “serious concerns”. 

NHS Highland then revealed it would step in to provide “enhanced assistance” to HC-One at its Skye facility.

A spokesperson for the Care Inspectorate said: “An inspection has identified serious and significant concerns about the quality of care experienced by residents at Home Farm Care Home in Skye.

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“We understand this is a difficult and distressing time for residents, their loved ones and staff at the home.

“However, our first priority is always the health and wellbeing of residents.

“We have submitted an application to the sheriff court seeking cancellation of the care home’s registration.

“This could mean new care arrangements will be put in place for residents at Home Farm care home.”

They added: “We are working closely with partners including NHS Highland to ensure that residents experience appropriate care during this difficult time.”

Kate Forbes MSP, who represents Skye, said this “will be a very worrying time” for the community and residents of the home.

She added: “It will be reassuring that NHS Highland is now effectively running the home, and has been providing additional staffing support since the outbreak.

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“Without commenting on any legal cases, I said last week that there were very important questions for HC-One to answer about care at the home, and so I fully support actions taken by the Care Inspectorate to ensure standards are met.”

An HC-One spokesman said it “accepted the shortcomings at Home Farm and apologise to our residents, their families, and the local community”.

He added: “We are fully committed to making significant improvements at the home and determined to put things right.

“We are disappointed that the Care Inspectorate is taking the steps that it is but we will continue to work in partnership with NHS Highland at the home to implement a robust action plan, with an unwavering focus on delivering the best possible care for residents.”

As of Wednesday, more than 1400 deaths involving Covid-19 to date in Scotland have occurred in care homes – 45% of the total.

A total of 1438 of coronavirus-related deaths were in care homes, compared to 1537 (48%) in hospitals and 238 (7%) in home or other settings.

The proportion of fatalities in care homes has been steadily rising week-on-week from 25% in mid-April.