Health and Wellbeing Services to be Resumed in Care Homes

Scotland’s Care Homes will be able to offer a wider range of health and well being services to their residents from 7th of September.

Due to the restrictions imposed during the worst of the Covid19 public health crisis in Scotland all but essential services were stopped from entering Care Homes.

Podiatrists, physiotherapists, optometrists, dentists, social workers, mental health and disability specialists will all be able again to visit residents.

The visits will only be able to take place in Care Homes where there are no active cases and have been free of COVID-19 for 28 days. They must also be actively participating in the care home worker testing programme.

Home Farm Portree Skye

It was announced on Thursday that Home Farm the Care Home in Portree, Skye which was taken into special measures is to be purchased by NHS Highland.

The purchase of Home Farm will be finalised in November and all staff will be transferred over to NHS Highland.

Reacting to the announcement Labour MSP Rhoda Grant said it was extremely welcome.

Rhoda Grant has been campaigning to find out what exactly happened at Home Farm and has had Freedom of Information requests denied.

Commenting on reports published on the Care Inspectorate website. Rhoda Grant said:

“The Care Inspectorate had previously informed me that these reports were not ready for publication which seems extraordinary since they should have provided some of the key evidence submitted to the Sheriff Court.

“While I am delighted they have now been published, serious questions that remain to be answered about whether they have been subsequently altered for public consumption.

“It might be that neither the Care Inspectorate, who had failed to check on Home Farm despite knowing there were serious infection control issues in January, nor the provider HC-One, had wanted their dirty washing aired to be in court.

“But if we are to prevent further tragic and unnecessary care home deaths in future, we need to know what went wrong.

 “My request for a breakdown of the costs of NHS Highland’s take-over project since March was turned down under Freedom of Information but I have appealed this decision.

” I want to know whether HC-One is being asked to foot any of this bill.

“I also asked the Scottish Government’s health secretary Jeane Freeman whether checks had revealed the source of the Home Farm Covid outbreak. I wanted to know whether it had been transmitted by infected patients who were transferred into the home from Raigmore Hospital. But Mrs Freeman said this information is not known. This, again, beggar’s belief.

“What we need now are dates of all admissions to Home Farm from hospital. We need to know whether those older people had been tested or not and we need to know the date Home Farm first reported Covid cases to the care inspectorate and those are questions I am asking.”

Jeane Freeman, Health Secretary in the Scottish Government said that NHS Highland taking Home Farm into ownership would provide reassurance to the residents and their families.

She added:

“Early this week the First Minister announced an independent review into how adult social care can be most effectively reformed to deliver a national approach to care and support services.

“Undoubtedly, the experience of Home Farm through the pandemic will feed into the review which I expect will build upon our existing commitments to improving provision.

“We owe it to those who use and work in adult social care services to acknowledge these challenges, to learn from them, and to consider carefully how we can most effectively plan and deliver care in the future.”

Paul Hawkins, NHS Highland Chief Executive, said:

“We have worked constructively with HC-One over the last number of weeks to improve the standards of care within the home, particularly in relation to managing infection control in a COVID-19 environment.

“Securing the future of the home under the Highland Health and Social Care Partnership within the NHS will enable us to ensure these standards are maintained.”

Click on this link to access the Care Inspectorate reports: Inspection Reports.

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