A Fife care home at the centre of a Covid-19 outbreak, which resulted in the deaths of 12 of its residents, has been criticised in a new Care Inspectorate report.
Inspectors visiting West Park Care Home in Leslie branded the facility’s infection control practices weak after “significant concerns” were raised about a number of contaminated mattresses.
Other areas of concern included contaminated toilet frames and raiser seats and encrusted foodstuffs on a small number of dining tables.
“People’s welfare and safety were compromised as all of these issues increased the risk of transmission of infection to everyone in the home,” it was stated in the Care Inspectorate report, made public this week.
The report, which followed an inspection carried out on February 25, also scored West Park’s care and support during the pandemic as weak, the second worst outcome.
“Systems and processes in place to deliver and provide assurance that the home was cleaned to an acceptable standard to minimise the risk of transmission of Covid-19 from exposure to the environment were not good enough,” the report said.
The facility, which offers round-the-clock care for up to 38 elderly residents and those with dementia, had remained virus-free during lockdown, up until December before the devastating news 51 people connected to the home had tested positive and that 12 has sadly died as a result.
Following the inspection, five contaminated mattresses were replaced with new ones within 48 hours while the operator confirmed every mattress cover had been put through an ozone wash cycle to disinfect them.
In addition, all bedframes and equipment had been cleaned with chlorine-based solution, in line with national guidance.
The NHS mattress audit tool for care homes has also now been introduced, while other contaminated equipment and furniture has either been cleaned and sanitised or discarded.
Operations changed since the report
In the wake of the findings the operator has increased the number of man hours needed to ensure cleanliness is maintained at the care home.
In other areas of inspection, the care home, which has operated since 2004, scored good.
The report also noted there was good supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) at the home, as well as cleaning equipment and that laundry and waste, including clinical waste, is being managed appropriately.
Furthermore, staff were seen to perform hand hygiene before and after providing care to people, before tasks such as serving meals and after touching frequently touched surfaces.
Wellbeing of residents was also noted as good, with many being supported to stay both physically and mentally well during the pandemic.
Residents were also supported in having regular contact with family and friends through telephone calls and virtual technology.
Irene Bright, Managing Director of West Park Care Home, said: “We have one requirement from that inspection.
“This requirement was acted upon immediately and will be seen to have been upheld and met when we are next inspected.
“Our Care Inspectors have supported and guided us for this improvement and implementation.”