Legal bid launched to shut infection-hit Skye care home

Inspectors are seeking to close down a care home on Skye where seven people have died in a Covid-19 outbreak after discovering “serious and significant concerns”.

The Care Inspectorate has submitted an application to the courts seeking the cancellation of the registration for Home Farm in Portree.

A spokesman said: “This could mean new care arrangements will be put in place for residents. We are working closely with partners including NHS Highland to ensure that residents experience appropriate care during this difficult time.”

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The action was taken after a recent unannounced inspection of the facility “identified serious and significant concerns about the quality of care experienced by residents”.

Portree on the Isle of Skye where the Home Farm facility is based

The spokesman said: “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.”

The announcement came after it emerged NHS Highland is putting additional resources in place at the home.

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.”

Health secretary Jeane Freeman. Picture: Fraser Bremner/Scottish Daily Mail/PA Wire

During the daily coronavirus briefing earlier yesterday, Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said the health board is “deploying additional NHS resources, including social care management, nursing leadership and direct care” immediately at the home.

She said: “The National Health Service will remain actively engaged in the care and support of residents in that care home for as long as we deem it necessary to ensure that effective infection prevention and control is being practised, that the right staffing ratios are there, and the residents are receiving the quality of care that we think that they should be receiving.”

Speaking alongside her at the briefing, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “From the steps that have been taken, that should be an indication that there is real concern there and we want to make sure that everything has been done to give the assurance that people would want.”

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