Ayrshire Post

Standards at care home in firing line

Report savages infection control at base where 22 died

- PAUL BEHAN

A care home where 22 residents died following a Covid outbreak has been ordered to make improvemen­ts following a damning report from the Care Inspectora­te.

Berelands House Care Home, in Prestwick’s Boydfield Avenue, has until this Monday, July 26, to make the required changes to its infection control practices.

The care home, which suffered two Covid outbreaks, has been deemed as having “significan­t weaknesses” in the way staff combat the threat of another outbreak.

And those weaknesses “substantia­lly increased” residents’ risk of infection.

The Care Inspectora­te said in their report: “We evaluated how well infection control practices support a safe environmen­t for people experienci­ng care.

“We concluded that there were strengths, but that these were compromise­d by significan­t weaknesses.

“When added together these weaknesses substantia­lly increased people’s risk of infection and required actions to improve.”

The scrutiny body discovered a number of faults during an unannounce­d inspection this month.

They include:

•Cleaning of surfaces and equipment which “did not adhere” to mandatory guidance and were not chlorine based

•Not all items were “laundered at the correct temperatur­e” to “achieve disinfecti­on”

•The Care Inspectora­te were “not confident” that laundry staff were aware of the national guidance

•Improvemen­ts were “needed” regarding the disposal of clinical waste and there was a “lack of provision” of recommende­d cleaning products that adhered to mandatory guidance

•House keeping staff were “not aware” of national guidance on infection prevention and control cleaning procedures

•Mop heads and water within the mop buckets were not being changed at regular intervals, which “increased the risk of cross contaminat­ion”

•And PPE stations and clinical waste bins were “sparse throughout the home”

The Care Inspectora­te concluded that “By Monday, July 26, the provider

should ensure that people experience an environmen­t that is clean, infection free and follows national guidance.”

At the time of this month’s inspection 63 vulnerable pensioners were living there.

Bosses at the home, owned by Priory Adult Care, say they are taking “swift and robust” action to address their issues before the deadline.

A spokesman said: “Our dedicated staff have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic, and even though we had introduced a number of additional procedures, as noted by inspectors, we have now revisited and strengthen­ed our policies around hygiene, recordmana­gement and training to ensure these are strictly followed and permanentl­y sustained.”

The home’s infection control and care and support of residents during the pandemic were both listed as ‘weak’ by the Care Inspectora­te, while staffing arrangemen­ts and support of people’s wellbeing were ‘adequate.’

The care home scored well in how it treated residents with compassion, dignity and respect and improving people’s health through its care and support, both areas rated as ‘good.’

Inspectors also noted that there was “genuine, warm and nurturing

interactio­ns between staff and residents” during their visit.

A spokesman added: “We were glad inspectors commented on the ‘genuine, warm and nurturing interactio­ns between staff and residents’, and noted that residents received ‘warmth, kindness and compassion’ in the way they are supported.

“The report also states that relatives commented that ‘staff and management had been fantastic during the pandemic.’

“We want to reassure everyone that we are adhering to strict infection prevention and control policies, and regularly update protocols to ensure they reflect latest national guidance.”

In June last year we brought you the tragic news that the death toll at Berelands rose to 22 after it was hit with a Covid outbreak.

At the time bosses confirmed another two residents lost their lives, which followed 20 people passing away with suspected Covid within a fortnight during the month of April.

Central Ayrshire MP Philippa Whitford, the Shadow SNP Spokespers­on for Health and Social Care, called the original death toll a “terrible tragedy.”

Dr Whitford’s constituen­cy includes Prestwick.

She said this week: “I recognise the

strain felt by all in the social care sector, particular­ly those working in care homes, who have faced the brunt of the Covid pandemic and I know Berelands has experience­d its share of challenges.

“As we face yet another wave of Covid, it remains vital that infection control measures are maintained in all settings, but particular­ly those caring for the most vulnerable, and I am sure Berelands will be working hard to address the issues raised in the report.”

The care home also hit the headlines in December when they were named as a finalist in the 11th National Dementia Care Awards.

The prestigiou­s prize night highlights “excellence and innovation” in the field and celebrates those who “provide consistent­ly outstandin­g care”.

And Berelands was shortliste­d for the Best Dementia Garden accolade following work undertaken on its dementia village and garden, the second consecutiv­e year the home had been has selected in the category.

Then, in April this year, we told that the care home was hit once again with a Covid outbreak.

The total numbers of those affected were not disclosed, but sources claimed that as many as 15 residents and three members of staff had tested positive.

 ??  ?? Concerns Inspectors have highlighte­d‘significan­t weaknesses’around the home’s infection control
Concerns Inspectors have highlighte­d‘significan­t weaknesses’around the home’s infection control

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