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Ross-shire care home's 'weak' Covid-19 response measures prompts Care Inspectorate order to improve

By Louise Glen

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Shoremill care home Cromarty.
Shoremill care home Cromarty.

A ROSS-SHIRE care home deemed to have a "weak" Covid-19 response in place has been told to improve.

An unannounced visit to Shoremill Care Home in Cromarty by the Care Inspectorate said there were "significant weaknesses" in residents' care.

Shoremill managers have been told it must change its current practice - and at the very least have a staff member trained and on shift to dispense prescribed medicines to residents, as well as making an area where staff can change clothes before and after work to reduce the risk of infection.

The care home, although spoken highly of by residents and families, was also graded as 'weak' in its response to infection control and staff training. It was said to have a lack of procedures in place to allow safe visiting by relatives to the 13-bed home.

Inspectors have made two urgent requirements of home managers to be met by October 31.

They also said that a previous requirement to train more staff in medication had not been met - leaving residents without access to prescribed medication which must be addressed by the end of November.

In the report, inspectors said: "People need to feel safe. We saw staff practice which helped support people when they were distressed, however, infection prevention and control guidance was not always followed.

"There was a lack of guidance and direction for staff on how to prevent and control the spread of infection. This meant their practice was not consistent or safe.

"Staff did not always wear appropriate personal protective equipment and cleaning routines were not safe and effective."

Concerns were also raised about staff touching their face masks, and concerns raised about how staff supported effective food hygiene measures when serving snacks and drinks.

It continued: "The service did not have safe and effective cleaning arrangements. Staff changing facilities were inadequate.People were not being protected from the spread of infection because staff were not properly trained."

Turning to procedures in the home, it said: "People had experienced some family visits in the garden or through the window, we were concerned that a risk assessment was not in place for garden visiting to ensure visiting was safe."

It continued: "People's care plans did not reflect the most up-to-date information about how they would like to be supported including what support they may need if they were affected by illness. Care plans did not include the necessary information to ensure that staff were able to support them in a safe way and in line with best practice.

"There were some nights when the staff on duty had not completed medication training and could not administer people's medication."

Two requirements made by the service, which were meant to be completed by September 30, 2019 had still not been met, the report said. Inspectors said they must now be met by November 30.

A spokeswoman for Shoremill Care Home said: "We are working with the Care Inspectorate and I am sure that when he comes to make his next inspection he will find everything in place."

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