Bupa Pentland Hill nursing home facing closure

Pentland Hill care home has been ordered to improve. Pic: Ian Georgeson
Pentland Hill care home has been ordered to improve. Pic: Ian Georgeson
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A private Edinburgh nursing home under police investigation because of the deaths of four residents has until tomorrow to make urgent improvements or face closure.

Inspectors issued Bupa’s Pentland Hill nursing home with a formal improvement notice in August and a new report reveals that the quality of care was still deemed unsatisfactory last month.

The Care Inspectorate watchdog said some positive changes have been made but are “not significant enough”.

It emerged in September that a joint initial investigation into four deaths at the Edinburgh home was being carried out by Police Scotland and the Health and Safety Executive.

The force was alerted to the care home following the death of a 67-year-old woman in July.

Separately, the Care Inspectorate recently upheld complaints from relatives of residents about the quality of care at Pentland Hill, which are unrelated to the police inquiry.

Inspectors carried out an unannounced visit to the home on October 11 to check progress against the improvement notice. They described the performance of the home as unsatisfactory or weak in all areas.

Four units smelt unpleasant, bed sheets were found to be thin and stained, several mattresses were dirty and seat cushions were missing from some armchairs.

A third of the 87 residents were found to be at medium or high risk of under-nutrition (34%), rising to almost two-thirds in one unit (61%).

Some residents were given food they were unable to eat and others did not receive the minimum daily average fluid intake.

A knife, furniture, cushion and continence aids were found in the garden area.

Medicines were not given as prescribed, in line with manufacturer’s guidance or in accordance with the resident’s lifestyle.

Inspectors also found that the home was understaffed, with a lack of activities and social interaction.

High staff turnover means the home employs many agency workers who are unfamiliar with the residents, and completing tasks took precedence over person-centred care, the inspectors concluded.

No new admissions are allowed at the home, located in Gylemuir Road.

The Care Inspectorate extended the deadline for the improvement notice to be met until November 28 following the latest inspection.

A spokesman said: “This report shows evidence of some change to how the home is run and managed, including better external support and a new manager, but we are still not satisfied by the overall quality of care being delivered.

“Our team of 11 inspectors and healthcare specialists found poor practice in medication, tissue viability and at meal times, and our report makes sober reading.

“The quality of care, staffing and leadership remains unsatisfactory. We therefore require further, specific improvements this week, after which we will reassess the home’s licence to operate.

“If we do not see immediate further evidence of significant improvement, this home faces closure.”

Andrew Cannon, managing director of Bupa Care Services, said: “This report follows an inspection completed over six weeks ago. Since then we have continued to make improvements to the home which the Care Inspectorate report has recognised. Our residents and their families tell us they are also seeing a difference from all the changes.

“Our new home manager and her team will continue working with the Care Inspectorate to embed all the improvements so that high standards of care are achieved and maintained.”