Inspectors flag concerns at Home Farm care home

PHOTO: Willie Urquhart/WHFP

Inspectors have raised concerns over conditions at a Skye nursing home where 10 people died after contracting Covid-19.

NHS Highland, which now runs Home Farm in Portree, confirmed the home had an inspection in early January.

The visit found cleanliness and infection control measures in need of improvement.

The home was transferred to ownership of NHS Highland last year – after previous operators HC-One came in for scathing criticism over the unsatisfactory care levels it had presided over.

Under the new arrangements Home Farm is twinned with Starthburn Care Home in Gairloch. The manager of the Wester Ross home has also been placed in charge at Home Farm on a temporary basis as part of the transition to public ownership, the health authority has confirmed.

A spokesman for NHS Highland told the Free Press: “The Care Inspectorate visited Home Farm in early January 2021. While NHS Highland has not yet had the final full report into the care home, we have had verbal feedback.

“The Care Inspectorate report on Home Farm, which will be published in due course, will identify a number of areas for improvement and this will subsequently affect the grading for Strathburn. The Care Inspectorate has made clear that they only visited Home Farm and the areas of improvement identified relate specifically to that care home.

“The positives within the feedback we have received pay tribute to the safe and compassionate provision of care and leadership within the home and noted improvements since NHS Highland recently took over the ownership of this home.

“There were areas for improvement including the cleanliness of some areas noting the environment is due for upgrade, hampered by the Covid-19 situation and the management of work on the home and infection, prevention control ensuring the safety of our residents at this challenging time.

“We have quickly responded to this and rectified some areas where that was possible, as well as planning for the wider improvement work required over the coming months.

“We are in the process of communicating with residents, relatives and staff in each home to provide information and reassurance.”