Care in crisis: Concerns raised over care home standards

The Care Inspectorate raised a raft of concerns with Edinburgh's offering.
The Care Inspectorate raised a raft of concerns with Edinburgh's offering.
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A CARE home in the Capital has come under fire after it emerged a new resident had to wait more than a week for a toothbrush and toothpaste.

The shocking discovery came during an inspection of Gylemuir House, an interim facility for those who have been discharged from hospital and are awaiting a permanent care home place.

A report published by the Care Inspectorate raised a raft of concerns, giving ‘weak’ ratings to both the management of Gylemuir House and the quality of its environment.

Inspectors reported one resident had been forced to move room several times due to an ant infestation and that there were recurring problems with the water supply.

They also criticised staff at the council-managed facility for an “often poor” attitude towards residents, noting examples of them “ignoring or giving false answers to a resident who frequently asked for help”.

Overall, the quality of staffing and care were both given a slightly better rating of ‘adequate’, with one relative telling inspectors they were “very pleased” with the care its team had provided.

However, inspectors said a number of improvements would need to be made to bring standards up to scratch.

The findings emerged after Gylemuir House was highlighted as a point of concern in a damning report into the state of elderly care in Edinburgh.

A joint report from the Care Inspectorate and Health Improvement Scotland released last week revealed a string of failures across the city and warned the Edinburgh Health and Social Care partnership (EHSCP) to take urgent remedial action.

Richard Baker, Age Scotland policy and communications manager, called the Gylemuir inspection findings “deeply concerning”.

He said: “The areas of under-performance it highlights mean too many older people are not receiving the quality of care they should be able to expect and are entitled to.

“Though Gylemuir House is a temporary care situation, that should not mean that the quality is anyway less than a permanent care home.

“The transition period from being in acute hospital care to a long-term care home can be a difficult time and not providing the highest standard of care can have detrimental effects on recovery from time in hospital.

“It is vital that the Health and Social Care Partnership gets on with the job of ensuring that services are significantly improved in the future.”

A spokesman for the EHSCP said: “We have taken the recommendations in both inspection reports very seriously.

“Whilst we’ve seen some improvement in the grades in the latest Care Inspectorate report published in March, we are continuing to work with the Care Inspectorate to further improve the service.”

florence.snead@jpress.co.uk