Standards at care home in firing line
Report savages infection control at base where 22 died
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.
•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.