‘Serious concerns’ over Covid response of some care homes

The Care Inspectorate has written to a Falkirk care home over concerns including cleanliness and PPE.

The Care Inspectorate has raised serious concerns over how a care home in Falkirk is responding to the Covid-19 crisis, one of 13 homes it inspected in a week.

The watchdog has written to Newcarron Court Care Home with “significant concerns” about cleanliness, infection control, access to PPE and the management of waste.

It has given operator Advinia Health Care six requirements its service must meet.

Other care homes that had previously been issued so-called “serious concerns letters” had improved their practices, the inspectorate notes.

The body is required under emergency coronavirus legislation to submit reports every two weeks to MSPs outlining the findings of any inspections.

Current checks are focused on the response to the pandemic and associated issues, including infection control, hygiene and personal protective equipment (PPE).

Its first report, which covers the period from May 27 to June 5, found generally good practice in the 13 care homes inspected.

But at Newcarron Court, the Care Inspectorate wrote of “significant concerns about the cleanliness of environment internally and externally, infection prevention and control practices, access to and management of PPE, and management of contaminated waste”.

Falkirk’s health and social care partnership will now support the care home to fulfil its obligations ahead of a follow-up visit.

However, inspectors observed on the June 4 visit “kind and compassionate interactions between staff and people who live” at the home, which provides care to 116 people.

It also said the home’s manager had only been in post for six weeks, who “engaged positively with us throughout the inspection and took immediate
action in terms of addressing some of the concerns raised”.

Newcarron Court said a subsequent inspection had been carried out on June 9 which recognised it had “already made the necessary short-term improvements to operational practices at the home, including ensuring the correct usage of PPE, identified in a small number of isolated incidents”.

A spokesman for the care home said the “safety and well-being of our residents continues to remain our highest priority at all times”.

He added: “We were pleased that the Care Inspectorate observed kind and compassionate care being provided during their inspection.

“We are working closely with Falkirk health and social care partnership and NHS Forth Valley to support the home as we develop a detailed action plan to make sustained further improvements in the interests of all residents.”

The Care Inspectorate also visited Almond View Care Home in Glasgow, which had previously been issued a serious concerns letter.

It found the home “working very differently” with “changes in practice” and significantly reduced risks.

Spynie care home in Elgin, Moray, which has an improvement notice in place, is now “operating to a good standard”, the report found.

Serious concerns relating to supply and use of PPE, infection control practices and staff knowledge were raised at Drummond Grange in Midlothian.

But a follow-up inspection found improvements had been made and that requirements in the Care Inspectorate’s letter had been met.

It also visited Home Farm Care Home in Portree, Skye, where ten residents have died with Covid-19.

The inspectorate is currently engaged in legal action against the home’s operator, HC-One, that could see the provider stripped of its right to provide services there.

The inspection report will be published on conclusion of the court proceedings.

Other concerns raised in the report include issues with staff training, the disposal of PPE and maintaining social distancing.

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