Loanhead nursing home where half of residents died to be turned into housing

Thornlea nursing home which closed after care chiefs suspended its licence following a shocking inspection report is to be turned into housing.

Inspectors who visited the nursing home in Loanhead, during the pandemic found there was not enough pain medication for dying patients, sick residents were self-isolating with no checks by staff and PPE was being stored alongside open bags of clinical waste.

It was reported 15 residents died from Covid at the home which the Care Inspectorate took to court in December 2020 to suspend its licence.

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The damning report by inspectors, which was released last summer, said: “We were very concerned that people who were unwell and nearing the end of their life were not being given appropriate palliative care.

“The nurses had not ensured that end of life medication to help people stay comfortable was available. People were not being checked for signs of changing needs that would then help other professionals suchas a GP to be called quickly.

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“The failure to undertake these essential observations and respond appropriately meant people who were ill were not experiencing the care and treatment they needed.

“We concluded that people were at significant risk of harm due to the failure of staff to manage care and support appropriately.”

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Thornlea Nursing Home in Loanhead will be turned into housing, after care chiefs suspended its licence. (Photo credit: Lisa Ferguson).

The home later closed its doors and was removed from the care register.

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Now plans to turn 19th century building which housed the home back into a residential property have been approved by Midlothian Council.

A coach house to the rear of the main building will also be turned into a house and plans for a further house at the site are expected to be submitted in the near future.

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Extensions added to the main building while it was a nursing home will be demolished.

A report by council officers said one objection to the plans had been lodged with the objector claiming demolition work was already underway at the site causing dust and disturbance to neighbouring residents.

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However planning officers said the change of use and work would safeguard the future of the building.

Planning permission for the work was granted.