Ninth resident dies at Scottish care home hit by coronavirus outbreak

A ninth resident has died in an outbreak of coronavirus at a care home on the Isle of Skye.

The eighth fatality occurred on Wednesday at Home Farm care home in Portree, with a ninth happening overnight into Friday.

Thirty residents and 29 staff have tested positive for Covid-19 at the home.

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News of the latest deaths came after NHS Highland stepped in to play a greater role in running the home – a move local MP Ian Blackford said had come as a relief to local residents on the island.

A ninth resident has died in an outbreak of coronavirus at a care home on the Isle of Skye.

On Thursday, the Care Inspectorate lodged a court bid to cancel the registration of the home’s operators HC-One, which could prevent it from running the facility.

The regulator said it had “serious and significant concerns” about the quality of care in the home following an unannounced inspection this week.

A spokesman for HC-One said: “Our thoughts and sympathies are with all families who have lost a loved one from coronavirus and we are doing our utmost to support them during this difficult time.

“We have a comprehensive coronavirus contingency plan in place, which was created by our clinical director and reflects the latest Government guidance.

“We are working closely with our local health and care partners, and we have all the medical equipment, PPE, and supplies we need to protect residents and colleagues alike.

“We are proud of our colleagues and how they have risen to the challenge of the coronavirus outbreak by showing huge dedication and commitment to our residents.

“We are providing round-the-clock support for all our teams, and we are also grateful to relatives for their ongoing support and understanding.”

Speaking on BBC Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland programme on Friday morning, Mr Blackford said people on Skye have been very worried about the situation.

He said: “I think of course there are legitimate questions that have to be put as to what’s been happening with HC-One and the running of this home, and that’s been borne out by the Care Inspectorate report.

“So I think the fact that the population here can see that NHS Highland are taking a leadership role in partnership with the company and running the operation there – it’s going to be a sense of relief more than anything else.

“The most important thing is protecting those that have this, getting them through this, supporting their families and supporting the staff.”

Mr Blackford added NHS Highland has been involved in looking after the home’s residents over the last few weeks but will now take on a more active role.

Inspectors had highlighted concerns about infection control measures and the numbers of staff available, he said, which would be addressed “in the fullness of time”.

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