Loanhead care home set to close following damming inspection
The 14 surviving residents – including some with dementia – are now to be moved to alternative facilities.
David Logan, counsel for Social Care and Social Work Improvement Scotland, said it was “a very serious situation” as he gave an up to date figure on the deaths.
He told Sheriff Douglas Keir that he was seeking an order for interim suspension of the registration which would not come into force until January 18 next year.
Mr Logan said: “The reason that January 18 is appropriate is that at the present time there are still 14 residents in the home.
“Those residents are in the process of being moved by Midlothian health partnership but that is quite a complicated business.”
He said it was complicated because of Covid-19 and because some were suffering from dementia.
Mr Logan told the court: “This is a very serious situation. I am not here to attribute blame.”
He said it was appreciated that the home had faced a lot of difficulties.
Mr Logan said that postponing the suspension would allow Thornlea to continue to provide a home for the remaining residents until they were moved elsewhere.
Following the court hearing, the Care Inspectorate said: “The Care Inspectorate is working closely with partners at Midlothian Health and Social Care Partnership and the Scottish Government to ensure people living at Thornlea Nursing Home experience safe care.
“We have taken this legal action is to ensure people experience safe care following serious concerns raised during an inspection. The suspension of the provider’s registration will allow for transition to alternative care arrangements for residents.
“We continue to monitor the service closely. An inspection report will be published in due course.”
William Frain-Bell, counsel for Thornlea Nursing Home Ltd, said it agreed with what was being proposed.
He said it was working with the care organisation and health partnership and hoped there would be an opportunity in the near future to address the court and to seek to have the interim order recalled.
Mr Frain-Bell said the nursing home gave an undertaking not to take in any new residents between now and January 18. The sheriff granted an order suspending the home’s registration from January 18.
The legal action was raised after “significant concerns” were identified during an inspection which raised “serious” worries surrounding residents’ safety. Thornlea has capacity for a maximum of 33 adults paying up to £1,000 per week.
Officials at the privately-run home have refused to provide any comment on the legal move by the Care Inspectorate. The last inspection report made public was for one carried out on November 9, 2017 where the home received a “weak” marking for “care and support” provision.
Lothian List MSP Miles Briggs (Con) said: “It is concerning that the Care Inspectorate was forced to suspend the registration of Thornlea Nursing Homes.
“It is paramount that the safety of residents is put first and foremost, especially during a public health emergency and I fully support the decision to suspend the home’s registration.
“The top priority now must be the safe transfer of residents, with full Covid-19 protocols followed, to alternative care homes.”