Alarm raised by Care Inspectorate over 'dirty mattresses', 'unemptied bins' and misuse of PPE at a private care home in Edinburgh

An unannounced inspection of a care home run by the Salvation Army has raised health and safety concerns.
Davidson House Care Home on 266 Colinton Road recieved a 'weak' rating from the Care Inspectorate due to hygiene issues.Davidson House Care Home on 266 Colinton Road recieved a 'weak' rating from the Care Inspectorate due to hygiene issues.
Davidson House Care Home on 266 Colinton Road recieved a 'weak' rating from the Care Inspectorate due to hygiene issues.

Davidson House is a private care home in the south-west of the Capital owned and managed by the Salvation Army and registered to provide care and accommodation for a maximum of 40 older people.

On Wednesday, October 7, 2020, the Care Inspectorate carried out an unannounced inspection at Davidson House.

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At the time of the inspection 49 people were living in the care home which received an overall ‘weak’ rating for care and support offered through the pandemic.

This rating is measured on a six-level scale, ‘weak’ is the second-lowest possible rating followed by ‘unsatisfactory’.

While the care home received an overall ‘weak’ rating its provisions of staffing arrangements and safeguarding of residents during the pandemic were given a higher rating of ‘adequate’.

The main concerns raised in the report were infection control practices and hygiene issues in the property.

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The report stated: "Several furnishings, including mattresses were not clean, waste was not disposed of correctly and staff were unsure about what gloves to use."

Issues surrounding the cleanliness of the property had been previously flagged but during the second visit, it was clear to inspectors that these improvements had not been made.

The report stated: “We undertook two visits to the care home. At the first we highlighted to the manager that improvements were needed regarding infection prevention and control. At the second visit these improvements had not been made.”

A spokesperson from the Salvation Army said the report reflects the difficulties homes are facing due to the pandemic.

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They said: “Sadly this report reflects the difficulties experienced in so many care homes during the pandemic with staff working in extremely difficult situations to give residents get the best possible care.

“We know how anxious residents and their families are and so we are keen to reassure them that since the inspection, we have had a visit by Edinburgh City Council’s residential review team who have complimented the home on the standards of cleanliness and care provided to our residents”

A further issue highlighted in the report was the misuse of personal protective equipment (PPE) in the care home.

The report stated: “There was inconsistent use of personal protective equipment (PPE) during personal care tasks, particularly in respect of the wearing of protective aprons, appropriate gloves, jewellery and short sleeved tops.

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“Sometimes staff did not adhere to guidance around wearing face masks and practicing good hand hygiene working between people in the dining room."

However, the report did find that residents and families were overall satisfied with the care provided.

The inspector reported speaking to five residents who were complimentary about the staff team at Davidson House.

Residents described members of staff that knew them well and treated them with kindness and respect and six relatives of residents complimented the staff on the care provided.

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The Salvation Army spokesperson added: “Our first priority is always to provide the highest standard of care to our residents and so we are disappointed by this report’s findings.

“We have moved quickly to respond and since the inspection we have recruited a number of new staff, refreshed and reviewed our infection prevention and control procedures and increased the frequency of infection control audits to ensure staff always follow the policies.

“We are also pleased the Care Inspectorate recognised that family representatives are happy with the care and support their relatives received at Davidson House.”

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