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Highland MSP Rhoda Grant welcomes Care Inspectorate move over Skye home stricken by Covid-19

By Hector MacKenzie

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Rhoda Grant MSP welcomed the latest move.
Rhoda Grant MSP welcomed the latest move.

HIGHLAND MSP Rhoda Grant, who has been calling for answers on the reasons Home Farm care home was hit so badly by Covid-19, has welcomed the announcement that the Care Inspectorate has taken steps to cancel the registration of the Portree facility, where seven residents have died.

The care industry watchdog said the enforcement action was promoted by “serious and significant concerns” about how the home was being operated.

The move could see the operator HC-One, which owns more than 300 care homes across the UK, not legally allowed to operate the care service.

Mrs Grant said: “I am glad the Care Inspectorate is taking action but they should have acted sooner given they were aware that there were issues.

"Inspectors who dropped by at Home Farm unannounced across two days late in January found staffing levels were not being matched to care needs, with numbers of staff fluctuating and scant at the weekends.

"They concluded the level and quality of care and support people received was 'not always adequate'. It’s easy to see why Covid-19 might have spread so quickly, especially when there were concerns about infection control. It would not appear staffing levels were anywhere near adequate back in January at least to respond to this crisis.”

She added: “In every contact I have had with families and the community it has been impressed upon me that the staff are wonderful. It is such a shame that they have had to work so hard and have themselves been left in a dangerous situation.

“The needs of residents must be paramount. NHS Highland must look to take over the management of Home Farm in the interim.”

Related: NHS Highland steps in to help Covid-hit care home

Highland Councillor loses father to Covid-19 in stricken home

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