Investigation into Kintyre House care home after Care Inspectorate brands coronavirus readiness 'weak'
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A MAJOR investigation has been launched into an Easter Ross care home after an inspection classed its coronavirus response as "weak".
A Large Scale Investigation (LSI), undertaken by various agencies including social work and NHS Highland, at Kintyre House Residential Home in Invergordon, is also looking at earlier concerns raised about nutrition and staff training in the home.
Kintyre House was at the centre of a investigation in January after one of its residents went missing and was later found face down on a main road.
"The lack of attention to the environment which includes the lack of enhanced cleaning, coupled with poor staff practice and the lack of appropriate training, places people and staff at risk of harm. In the event of an outbreak [of Covid–19] this could potentially be difficult to manage."
The Care Inspectorate, which made an unannounced visit to the home earlier this month, classed measures in place at the home to protect residents during the coronavirus pandemic as weak on all four measures.
The report states: "The lack of attention to the environment which includes the lack of enhanced cleaning, coupled with poor staff practice and the lack of appropriate training, places people and staff at risk of harm. In the event of an outbreak [of Covid–19] this could potentially be difficult to manage."
The report identified weakness in communication with relatives and said residents had no structured activities during the pandemic as staff had been furloughed.
The report continued: "We had serious concerns regarding meeting aspects of people's healthcare needs.
"There was no evidence to support that people were being regularly offered and/or refusing food and fluids. And there was a serious risk that this could lead to malnutrition and dehydration.
For one person, the report stated: "We were concerned that there was the potential for this person to suffer from continued pain."
The home was also found to be unclean and cluttered, hoists and other equipment such as wheelchairs were found to be 'dirty', which placed people at risk of infection.
A spokesman for NHS Highland said: "NHS Highland has commenced a large scale investigation at Kintyre care home in Invergordon following concerns raised after an unannounced inspection at the care home by the Care Inspectorate.
"The LSI is being conducted under Adult Support and Protection legislation after concerns were raised in respect of the wellbeing of residents; environment and staff training and support."
The health board said residents and relatives were made aware of the investigation and that it was working with operators Sanctuary Care.
One relative, who did not want to be named, said: "We were told our mum would have a Covid test, but months later we still do not know if she had one - or what the results are. We urgently want to move our mum out the home but there are very few other choices."
Denise Marandola (52) whose mum Irene (79) was found lying face down on a a main road when she 'escaped' from the home in January, said she she had been raising concerns about the home for more than a year.
She said: "I have serious concerns about the care for patients in the home. My mum was not looked after well. She was always hungry and we never knew if she was being fed when we were not there. I am glad that someone is finally doing something."
Responding to the Care Inspectorate report, Sheila O’Connor, director of operations at Sanctuary Care, said: “While we are disappointed at this news and are sorry care has fallen short of the standards we expect, we are working closely with Care Inspectorate and NHS Highland to address the concerns and make improvements to the quality of care.
“We remain committed to delivering a service that is centred on our residents’ wellbeing and happiness, and we can reassure their families that our staff are working tirelessly to ensure everyone at the home receives the high standard of care they deserve.”