Failing Edinburgh care home told to improve by inspectors

Report follows other failings in last two years

Tuesday, 7th January 2020, 1:35 pm
Updated Tuesday, 7th January 2020, 1:54 pm
Inspectors visited Drumbrae before Christmas
Inspectors visited Drumbrae before Christmas

A FLAGSHIP Capital care home has been told to improve by inspectors after an unannounced visit raised serious concerns.

The Care Inspectorate found that Drumbrae Care Home needs better dignity and choices for residents, staff qualifications and training and medication management.

Opened by Edinburgh Health and Social Care Partnership to much fanfare in 2013, Drumbrae received successive reports by inspectors in 2017 and 2018 rating staffing and care as “weak”.

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Staffing, medication and residents' choices need to improve

Lothian MSP, Miles Briggs, said: “Drumbrae Care Home must make significant improvements to how they manage their care home.

“Residents are entitled to get the best possible levels of care and this report shows that they are not receiving that.

“Older people should be treated with dignity and cared for properly.”

In their latest report, inspectors also told bosses to improve record keeping on residents’ needs and care plans, as well as staff training on the safe movement of residents.

The Improvement Notice says: “Service users’ health and social care needs must be met by staff who are appropriately trained, competent and skilled.

“Training must include, but is not limited to, moving and handling and use of equipment for moving people. Records of training and staff competency in the use of this equipment must be kept.”

A spokesman for the Care Inspectorate said: “The Improvement Notice we have issued clearly lays out the improvements we must see so that the care experienced by residents improves quickly.

“We will visit this care home again soon to check on progress and if we are not satisfied that the matters raised are being addressed urgently we will not hesitate to take further action.

“Everyone in Scotland has the right to safe, compassionate care which meets their needs and respects their rights.

Last year, a 94-year-old war veteran died after he lost a stone-and-a-half in a month while living in the home..

A social work report found that Malcolm Muirhead "had lost a significant amount of weight" and was only being washed once a week in a sink, having fallen from a chair in his shower area.

It also raised concerns that he was wearing a "dirtied jumper" with food stains on it, had bloated feet, overgrown nails and infected toes.

The 60-bed care home had been banned from taking in any more residents after inspectors flagged up a series of concerns, including poorly trained staff and errors being made with medicines.

In their report last March, following a visit to the home the previous December, inspectors demanded the home meet a legal requirement to "ensure that residents at risk of not eating or drinking enough receive sufficient help to reduce the risk of poor nutrition and dehydration."

The report also warned staff lacked knowledge or skills in a number of key areas.

A spokeswoman for the Edinburgh Health and Social Care Partnership said: “We take the care, safety and support of our care home residents very seriously.

“Work is ongoing with the Care Inspectorate to make sure Drumbrae Care Home is safe and comfortable and that we deliver the improvements required by the Improvement Notice.

“We took immediate action following feedback from our inspection in December, a highly experienced and longstanding care home manager from within the Partnership has been put in place to oversee this work and monitor progress being made and they are being supported by the HSPC’s senior management to drive the improvement we need to see.”

Brian Sloan, Chief Executive of Age Scotland, said: “It’s deeply concerning that despite previous concerns, Drumbrae Care Home is still failing to provide an acceptable level of care.

“Two reports in the last two years have highlighted serious weaknesses at Drumbrae. These should have been a wake-up call for managers and staff to urgently put improvements in place.