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14 May 2020
Care Inspectorate takes legal action to cancel Skye care home registration

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Care Inspectorate takes legal action to cancel Skye care home registration

The Care Inspectorate has applied to cancel the registration of Home Farm Care Home in Skye over “serious and significant concerns” about the quality of care during the COVID-19 outbreak.

The home had been in the spotlight in recent days, with reports that seven residents had died at the facility, and an unannounced visit by inspectors to the home earlier this week.

In a statement, a spokesperson for the Care Inspectorate said the inspection had “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,” the statement said.

“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.”

Finance Secretary Kate Forbes, MSP for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch, tweeted: “This is distressing for the local Skye community, acutely affected by the Covid-outbreak at Home Farm.

“NHS Highland has been providing support to the private provider, but confirmed they're effectively running the home. The priority is the highest level of care for residents.”

Scottish Green Highlands and Islands MSP John Finnie said he had “huge concerns” about the COVID-19 outbreak at Home Farm.

“Care home residents are some of the most vulnerable people in our society and it is vital that every protection is offered to them,” he said.

“That means routine testing, that means issuing staff with the necessary PPE, and it means ensuring distancing and hygiene measures are implemented strictly at all times.

“The Care Inspectorate action suggests that something has gone seriously wrong in this care home and it’s vital that lessons are learned and urgently acted upon. Sadly, that will come too late for at least seven residents who stayed at this home.”

Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton called for Health Secretary Jeane Freeman to “come to parliament and set out why it took so long for this to come to light and what care plans are now being put in place to keep residents safe”.

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said: “Our thoughts remain with residents, families and staff affected by coronavirus (COVID-19), including at Home Farm in Skye. I am directly engaged with developments at the home to ensure we continue to act as necessary for the wellbeing of residents and staff.

“I am grateful to NHS Highland who have acted quickly and who will remain actively engaged on this matter for as long as is necessary, but I cannot comment any further on the details of this case whilst it is before the Sheriff Court.

“However I can say that the Scottish Government strongly supports action to ensure all care homes provide a safe home for their residents and we are actively working to ensure we are doing everything possible to ensure that is the case.”

Earlier on Thursday, Freeman confirmed NHS Highlands had been providing social care management and nursing leadership to the care home.

“The Care Inspectorate has not yet published their inspection report so it is not appropriate for me to comment further on the details at this point,” Freeman said.

“However, I can say I and the Scottish Government support action to ensure all care homes provide a safe home for their residents.”

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