Care Inspectorate seeks to cancel HC-One registration amid “serious and significant concerns” at Home Farm

“Serious and significant concerns” have been identified over the quality of care experienced by the residents of the Home Farm, following an inspection carried by the Care Inspectorate this week.

The Care Inspectorate made an unannounced inspection on Tuesday of Home Farm care home in Portree which is operated by HC-One Ltd.

To date, a total of 56 staff and residents at the nursing home have tested positive for the virus. Seven of those residents have died. There has been growing anger at how the infection came to spread in so vulnerable an environment and many questions remained unanswered by Home Farm’s operator HC-One.

In a statement released this afternoon, the Care Inspectorate said it had submitted an application to cancel the care home’s registration following its findings.

A spokesperson for the Care Inspectorate said: “An inspection has 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.

“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.”

On Wednesday, NHS Highland announced it had agreed with HC-One to provide enhanced assistance by deploying additional NHS resources, including social care management, nursing leadership and direct care with immediate effect; with the aim of improving and sustaining the appropriate quality of care for the residents.

Responding to today’s statement by the care inspectorate, local MSP Kate Forbes said: “This will be a very worrying time for the Skye community and residents of Home Farm Care Home, which has been run by private care home provider HC-One.

“It will be reassuring that NHS Highland is now effectively running the home, and has been providing additional staffing support since the outbreak. Without commenting on any legal cases, I said last week that there were very important questions for HC-One to answer about care at the home, and so I fully support actions taken by the Care Inspectorate to ensure standards are met.

“The care and support of residents is the highest priority here, and the serious concerns raised by the Care Inspectorate about HC-One’s management is a matter of grave importance.

“Our oldest and most vulnerable citizens deserve the highest levels of care, and the situation at Home Farm affects everybody in the local Skye community.”

Last Wednesday, 6th May, the Free Press submitted ten questions to HC-One in light of the major outbreak of coronavirus.

To date, HC-One has yet to provide a response to any of our questions.

This afternoon, HC-One released a statement that read: “We have accepted the shortcomings at Home Farm and apologise to our residents, their families, and the local community. We are fully committed to making significant improvements at the home and determined to put things right. We are disappointed that the Care Inspectorate is taking the steps that it is, but we will continue to work in partnership with NHS Highland at the home to implement a robust action plan, with an unwavering focus on delivering the best possible care for residents.”

On Wednesday NHS Highland and HC-One announced that they have “agreed a partnership approach to quickly and effectively address the situation at Home Farm Care Home.”

Meanwhile, questions remained unanswered from HC-One, and from the Scottish Government concerning the guidance they have issued to care homes, where over 40 per cent of Scotland’s coronavirus-related deaths have occurred.