Majority of care homes inspected branded "weak" in monthly report

The body responsible for overseeing Scotland’s care homes has branded 13 institutions “weak” or “unsatisfactory” in its latest monthly reports.

Several homes have been rated as "weak"

Of 32 homes inspected since the last report submitted to the Scottish Parliament on 21 June, 13 received “weak” or “unsatisfactory” rating in some aspects of their care from the Care Inspectorate – more than a third.

Some institutions – including Southside Care Home in Inverness - were told they could not admit any new residents until issues had been dealt with.

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The report, which was submitted to the Scottish Parliament, said: “The provider must not admit any new residents to the service until the quality of care has improved. We have issued the emergency conditions notice to ensure this does not happen.”

Some problems related to infection control linked to the spread of Covid-19, while other homes saw residents left unattended for long periods of time without being able to call for support if needed. Others did not have up-to-date information in personal plans for residents, while in some homes, staff were not clear on whether individual residents had the ability to make decisions for themselves.

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At Redford Nursing Home in Ayr, inspectors halted their work and issued a “letter of serious concern” to the establishment two days into the inspection. They returned three days later to find that improvements had been made, eventually issuing “good” and “adequate” ratings.

They said: “During the inspection, we identified serious concerns about the care people were receiving. This related to infection prevention and control and the availability and safe management of hot water. As a result, we issued a letter of serious concern.

Rosepark Care Home in Uddingston, run by Edinburgh-based Renaissance Care, received six “weak” ratings.

The inspectors said: “The principles of choice, dignity and respect were not being fully promoted within the home.”

At Singleton Park Care Home in Lockerbie, inspectors noted “significant concerns about the management and leadership of the home”, handing out seven “weak” ratings and one “unsatisfactory” for the leadership team.

At Bearehill Care Home in Brechin, inspectors issued seven “weak” ratings and warned that there were “insufficient staff to support people with meaningful days”, while at Bonnyholm Gardens in Glasgow, they warned that residents were put at risk by staff not seeking support from medical professionals at the right time or when it was needed.

Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP said: "The pandemic has brought to light vulnerabilities throughout our care system. These inspections have an important role to play in exposing issues and ensuring that homes are brought up to scratch. Ultimately though action needs to be taken at a national level too.”

Scottish Conservative Shadow Social Care Minister Craig Hoy said: “It’s concerning that almost half of the care homes inspected in the last two weeks have been rated weak or unsatisfactory and we need to get to the bottom of why this is the case.

“The pandemic has been a reminder of why it’s so vital that care homes are of a good standard and it’s is important we have robust, timely and transparent inspections.”

He added: “Care home staff are exhausted, having been operating at the frontline for months and it is essential that inspections support improvements to deliver consistency of care.

“SNP Ministers have made several critical mistakes in relation to care homes throughout this crisis and it’s important these facilities get the support needed to maintain and improve standards.”

It emerged last week that the Care Inspectorate reduced the number of full investigations into complaints about care homes across Scotland during the pandemic.

A statement from the Care Inspectorate said: “In order to robustly assess the arrangements put in place by care services to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic, Care Inspectorate inspections place a particular focus on infection prevention and control, personal protective equipment and staffing in care settings.  

“This enables inspectors to focus on these areas while also considering the overall quality of care and impact on people’s wellbeing.”

The care homes have been contacted for comment.

A spokeswoman for Singleton Park care home refused to comment.

A spokesperson for Rosepark Care Home said: “The pandemic has brought many challenges for care homes across the country, and our staff have remained entirely committed to the care provided to our residents throughout this time.

“We are clearly disappointed by the feedback from the recent Care Inspectorate visit and will work with all relevant parties to action any recommendations. We are confident that our next visit will see significant improvements which are in line with previous reports and are much more reflective of the care provided within our home.”

A spokesperson for Southside Care Home said: “We are deeply disappointed in our recent Care Inspectorate report, which does not reflect the high standards of service we work hard to provide to all our residents. We have taken immediate action to increase the number of staff on the floor at all times and are confident that in doing so we will have met the main requirements of the Care Inspectorate. We are working closely with the Care Inspectorate, the NHS and our own staff to ensure all concerns are addressed within the specified time frames."

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