Edinburgh care home Guthrie House linked to 13 Covid-19 deaths still 'unclean and contaminated'

There has been ‘no improvement’ to an Edinburgh care home previously rated ‘unsatisfactory’ by the Care Inspectorate.

Guthrie Care Home in Lasswade.

Guthrie House Care Home was issued with a letter of serious concern in early September after an initial visit by inspectors.

Inspectors found that patients at the care home did not have sufficient access to fluids, and were not quickly attended to when in pain or distress.

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A report by the Care Inspectorate said inspectors were “concerned about the care of residents, cleanliness of the environment and equipment, compliance with infection prevention and control, and staffing levels”.

They returned on September 22, but a follow-up report shows that there was ‘no improvement’ in support to patients in pain or distress.

The report reads: “When we visited on 22 September, there was no improvement in the support offered to individuals experiencing pain or distress. Medication administration procedures were weak. There was no improvement in the quality of documentation relating to the support provided. We observed that fluids were available in some areas.“Several areas in the home were not clean and were contaminated. PPE supplies were available but there was poor compliance with the management of clinical waste. Staff had received training on COVID-19 and infection prevention and control however, their practice did not fully comply with current guidance.“We found no improvement in staffing arrangements.“Due to the continuing significant concerns and lack of improvements, we issued an improvement notice to the provider on 23 September.”

Scottish Labour Health and Social Care Spokesperson Monica Lennon MSP said: “The Care Inspectorate has uncovered spine-chilling examples of unsafe care and human rights breaches.

“The health and well-being of residents should be paramount, especially during a pandemic. Poor cleanliness, inappropriate use of PPE and sloppy infection prevention and control are not acceptable. It’s worrying that some of these care homes were given time to improve but didn’t deliver.

“Inspectors have identified excessive use of physical restraint, residents not having enough access to fluids and inadequate support for those experiencing pain or distress.

“This is inhumane and reinforces Scottish Labour’s concerns about the postcode lottery of care in Scotland’s care homes. We have urged SNP Ministers to move at pace to deliver a National Care Service, and we have secured a human-rights based public inquiry into the Scottish Government’s pandemic response.”

Lothian MSP Miles Briggs said: “This is deeply concerning that Guthrie House still hasn’t made the necessary improvements to cleanliness of the home and residents who are in pain are still not being supported promptly.

“Full compliance with PPE guidance is crucial to ensuring that care home residents are safe and there can be no exceptions.

“Guthrie House has been repeatedly warned about cleanliness and following PPE guidance. Strict protocols must be put in place to turn the level of care at the home around.

“There are still a number of care homes in the Edinburgh and Lothian who are not following PPE and social distancing guidance fully and the message of full compliance must be reinforced.”

A spokesperson for Four Seasons Health Care said: “Our colleagues have worked tirelessly on the front line throughout the pandemic to deliver a high quality of care, however we recognise that there are significant areas for improvement at this home.

"We are committed to meeting the requirements outlined by the Care Inspectorate and already had a comprehensive action plan underway at the home which is being supervised by our management team.

"We take our responsibilities as a care provider extremely seriously and we will continue to put all our resources and energy into supporting and protecting everyone in our homes.”

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