Community grieves further loss as ninth resident dies at Home Farm

HC-One, the operator of Home Farm, has confirmed today that two more residents of the Skye care home have died.

In a release sent to the Free Press this afternoon, a spokesperson for HC-One confirmed in a statement that an eighth resident had died on Wednesday 13th May, while the care home operator confirmed later on Friday that a ninth resident had died overnight.

The statement read: “Our thoughts and sympathies are with the families who have lost loved ones from coronavirus and we are doing our utmost to support them during this difficult time.

“Caring for our residents and supporting our colleagues is at the heart of what we do, and we are doing everything we can to make sure our residents and colleagues stay safe and well throughout these challenging times.

“We have a comprehensive coronavirus contingency plan in place, which was created by our clinical director and reflects the latest government guidance. We are working closely with our local health and care partners, and we have secured the medical equipment, PPE, and supplies we need to protect residents and colleagues alike.

“Whilst a number of colleagues are away unwell or self-isolating, we have had the team members required to safely care for all residents with additional support being drawn from our other Scottish homes and the senior regional team.

We are proud of our colleagues and their courage in rising to the coronavirus outbreak by showing huge dedication and commitment to our residents. We are providing round-the-clock support for all our teams, and we are also grateful to relatives for their ongoing support and understanding.”

Thirty residents and 29 staff have tested positive for coronavirus at the Portree-based care home, and many questions remained unanswered by HC-One and the Scottish Government amid growing anger at how the infection came to spread in so vulnerable an environment.

On Thursday the Care Inspectorate said it had identified “serious and significant concerns” over the quality of care experienced by the residents of Home Farm, following an inspection carried by on Tuesday.

The body which looks at the quality of care in Scotland also announced on Thursday that it had submitted an application to the sheriff court seeking cancellation of the care home’s registration, adding that this “could mean new care arrangements will be put in place for residents at Home Farm care home.”

HC-One in response said: “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.”