RELATIVES of former patients of the Pentland Hill Care Home have cautiously welcomed claims that the troubled facility has been “transformed” – but warn that similar promises have been made before.
The Bupa-run home was last year threatened with closure by the Care Inspectorate unless “significant” improvements were made.
In January police also handed a report to the procurator fiscal on an investigation into the deaths of four patients at the Corstorphine-based property.
However, new managers at the home, who have spent the last eight months “revamping and restructuring” the facility, claim they can now say “with confidence” that the home is “safe” and “well-run”.
Kirsty Dace, Bupa’s director in Scotland, said: “We’ve not quite yet reached the highest standards we strive for, but we will continue to improve.
“The entire management team has been replaced and our focus, effort and investment have been on making changes to ensure the residents receive the level of dedicated care they expect and deserve.
“We want to apologise to residents, their relatives and the community around Pentland Hill who were adversely affected by the lapse.”
Other changes to the facility include weekly weight reviews, additional support at mealtimes and plans for a dementia-friendly garden.
The number of units within the facility has been reduced from four to three, allowing bosses to halve the number of agency staff employed.
But relatives of former patients have said it remains to be seen whether the promised changes translate into long-term improvement.
Ronald Simpson, whose sister was a patient between 2007 and 2009 and was among a group of relatives who raised concerns seven years ago, said: “It sounds very good, but we’ve heard these promises before. The proof will be in the pudding.”
A care worker who began working at Pentland Hill when her mother became a resident, but quit in October last year with work-related stress after witnessing the homes “deterioration” first-hand, also said the timing of the apology was “regrettable”.
Christina Taylor, 59, said: “The apology would have been better received eight months ago, rather than at a time when they are hoping to attract new residents and staff. I hope they have learnt lessons from the mistakes of the past.”