Edinburgh care homes failing to follow PPE and hygiene guidance, new report finds

The findings of a report into conditions at two Edinburgh care homes have been labelled “extremely concerning” by a local MSP, after it found staff were failing to follow PPE and handwashing guidance correctly.

Thursday, 26th November 2020, 4:45 pm

The 35-page Care Inspectorate report for the Scottish Parliament, published details of all its care home inspections undertaken in the last fortnight.

The watchdog said conditions at both Davidson House and Braid Hills Nursing Centre in Edinburgh had improved since its last inspection, but highlighted key areas that needed to be addressed.

A November 13 inspection of Davidson House, in Colinton, found that, although staff had access to PPE, “this was not always used correctly,” and staff “did not always follow best practice guidance about hand sanitisation.”

The 35-page Care Inspectorate report for the Scottish Parliament, published details of all its care home inspections undertaken in the last fortnight.

The inspection, which followed up on a previous visit to the Salvation Army-run facility in October, also found “some improvement” around infection prevention and control (IPC) practices, as well as in the “condition of people’s mattresses.”

The Care Inspectorate report insisted that the home, which is registered to care for 40 older people, still needed to carry out further improvements.

Meanwhile, the BUPA-run Braid Hills Nursing Centre was told it still needed to improve the cleanliness of some fixtures and equipment, despite some improvements in IPC since it was last inspected on October 14, 2020.

The home, which is registered to care for 95 older people and 25 adults with physical disabilities, also had no record of enhanced touch point cleaning taking place at the home.

A November 13 inspection of Davidson House, in Colinton, found that, although staff had access to PPE, “this was not always used correctly,” and staff “did not always follow best practice guidance about hand sanitisation.”

The Care Inspectorate added that staff needed more training in how to support residents “experiencing stress or distress.”

Lothian MSP, Miles Briggs, said:“It is extremely concerning that care homes in Edinburgh are still not following PPE guidance correctly and best practice is not being followed on infection prevention.

“Edinburgh Integration Joint Board must take immediate action to ensure that staff at care homes are fully compliant with PPE and infection control guidance, to minimise risk for care home residents.

“Care home staff must be fully supported to ensure that every measure possible is taken to keep care home residents safe, whilst being able to keep in touch with their families.”

The BUPA-run Braid Hills Nursing Centre was told it still needed to improve the cleanliness of some fixtures and equipment, despite some improvements in IPC since it was last inspected on October 14, 2020.

Care homes have been at the centre of the battle against coronavirus since Scotland’s outbreak began in March this year.

Since then, more than 5,400 care homes residents have tested positive for the virus.

Statistics published by the Scottish Government suggest that around 42 per cent of the 5,380 Covid-19 registered deaths in Scotland occurred in the country's care homes, while 51 per cent were in hospitals, and 7 per cent were in non-institutional settings.

The statistics also show that 18 care home staff in Scotland have died from the virus since March.

And cases in care homes continue to be a challenge for the Scottish Government's coronavirus response.

Between November 9 and November 15, figures show there were 296 new confirmed cases of the virus among Scotland’s care homes.

And as of November 18, 13 per cent (141) of all care homes in Scotland had at least one current case of suspected coronavirus.

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