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Eilean Dubh care home in Fortrose, owned by the Parklands group, is working to contain a sizeable Covid-19 outbreak among staff and residents with staff from Buckie drafted in to help

By Alasdair Fraser

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Parklands' Eilean Dubh care home
Parklands' Eilean Dubh care home

A Black Isle nursing home has been hit by a “significant” wave of Covid-related staff absences in the last fortnight.

Eilean Dubh care home in Fortrose says it has currently contained positive cases to “a small number” of residents and staff, although it is understood as many as 14 employees may have been infected or self-isolating at one point recently.

The home’s owners, Parklands Care Homes, declined to say exactly how many people in all had been affected throughout the outbreak.

Staff from sister homes in Buckie, Moray, have been drafted in to assist amid personnel shortages, with the home’s manager Pablo Vilar among those having returned to work after a period of isolation.

One relative of an Eilean Dubh resident contacted the Courier to raise concerns over a lack of updates and detailed information on the developing situation.

However, a spokesman for the care home insisted relatives had been kept informed and stressed most relatives were supportive of the management’s approach.

An email sent by Mr Vilar to named relatives on April 11 read: “Over the last three days we’ve had a significant number of staff return a positive test result as well as two residents.”

Mr Vilar apologised for “not being responsive” during his isolation period.

Another email two days later said there were four residents with Covid, which had been contained to wings B and C of the home.

It added: “We have also had several staff over the last week with symptoms or testing positive. We are speaking with public health daily and following their advice.

“We are very proud of our teams who have really stepped up to the plate.”

A Parklands Care Homes spokesman said: “A small number of residents and staff at Eilean Dubh are currently positive with Covid-19.

“In line with standard procedures, affected residents have been in isolation but we expect their isolation period to end by Thursday.

“Further tests were carried out last Friday and were all negative. As a precaution, we will carry out another round of tests today.

“Affected employees have been isolating at home on full pay, although some are now beginning to return to work.

Parklands' managing director Ron Taylor at the company's Eilean Dubh care home at Fortrose.
Parklands' managing director Ron Taylor at the company's Eilean Dubh care home at Fortrose.

“We have been communicating with relatives throughout, and will continue to do so.

“We would like to thank relatives for their support during this period. Our staff have been touched by their generosity and kindness of spirit.

“This is a reminder that Covid-19 is still very much active in the local community. We continue to follow Public Health Scotland and Care Inspectorate infection prevention and control guidelines at all times.

“The safety and welfare of our residents and staff is our top priority.

“We are grateful to our colleagues from Parklands’ Buckie homes who have been supporting the team at Eilean Dubh.”

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