Death probe nursing home care services ‘improving’

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Care services are improving at a closure-threatened private nursing home but new admissions remain suspended, a report has said.

Police are investigating four deaths at Pentland Hill nursing home in Edinburgh and standards watchdog the Care Inspectorate is also looking at four separate complaints about quality of care which are unrelated to the police inquiry.

Last month, inspectors said the home must show immediate evidence of significant improvement or face closure.

In a report published today, the Care Inspectorate said it is improving but more still needs to be done.

A formal improvement notice issued in August will remain in place until a further inspection in the new year.

A Care Inspectorate spokesman said: “The health, safety and wellbeing of residents is the absolute priority which is why we are taking enforcement action against Pentland Hill, and working closely with the council and NHS to safeguard every resident.

“This home is not yet operating at the standards we require, but we have seen some evidence of some improvement. This is in the early stages and needs to be sustained.

“A new home manager has made changes, including purchasing new fittings and providing stronger management oversight of care staff. We saw additional progress in pharmacy, mealtimes and tissue viability, but variability and inconsistency remain.”

Inspectors got involved following a significant number of complaints in the last year. They carried out an unannounced review in July after upholding three complaints from families of residents and have followed up with two further inspections.

The spokesman added: “We have not lifted the Improvement Notice and will carry out an unannounced inspection in the new year where we will assess whether to revoke this home’s license to operate.

“We expect to see evidence of further, significant progress which improves the lives of residents and puts compassion at the heart of care.

“No new residents can enter the home until we are satisfied by the quality of care on offer.”

Police said inquiries into four deaths at the home are continuing along with the Health and Safety Executive.