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Watchdog move to remove license from Skye care home hit by mass Covid-19 infections amid 'serious and significant concerns'

By Scott Maclennan

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Home Farm care home in Portree.
Home Farm care home in Portree.

The Care Inspectorate for Scotland has applied to remove the license from owners of the Skye care home at the centre of a major Covid-19 outbreak.

The HC-One property called Home Farm was the subject of an unannounced inspection this week which “identified serious and significant concerns.”

Subsequently NHS Highland effectively took over care at the home where 30 out of 34 residents and 29 staff tested positive for Covid-19 which has left seven dead.

The health board agreed to immediately provide enhanced assistance including social care management, nursing leadership and direct care.

The application by the Care Inspectorate to the sheriff means that those currently at the home may have to be placed in alternative accommodation

A spokesperson for the Care Inspectorate said: “An inspection has identified serious and significant concerns about the quality of care experienced by residents at Home Farm Care Home in Skye.

“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.

"We have submitted an application to the sheriff court seeking cancellation of the care home’s registration. This could mean new care arrangements will be put in place for residents at Home Farm care home.

“We are working closely with partners including NHS Highland to ensure that residents experience appropriate care during this difficult time."

Local MSP Kate Forbes said; "Kate Forbes MSP said: “This will be a very worrying time for the Skye community and residents of Home Farm Care Home, which has been run by private care home provider HC-One.

“It will be reassuring that NHS Highland is now effectively running the home, and has been providing additional staffing support since the outbreak.

"Without commenting on any legal cases, I said last week that there were very important questions for HC-One to answer about care at the home, and so I fully support actions taken by the Care Inspectorate to ensure standards are met.

“The care and support of residents is the highest priority here, and the serious concerns raised by the Care Inspectorate about HC-One’s management is a matter of grave importance.

“Our oldest and most vulnerable citizens deserve the highest levels of care, and the situation at Home Farm affects everybody in the local Skye community.”

Related: NHS Highland forced to intervene

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