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Scathing report says Fife care home placed elderly residents at ‘serious risk’

Fife care home threatened sigh closure
The care home in Newport-on-Tay has been criticised by inspectors.

A Fife care home has been told it must act immediately after care inspectors found the health and safety of elderly residents was at “serious risk”.

During announced inspections by the Care Inspectorate last month, some residents of Riverview Lodge Care Home in Newport-on-Tay were found to have lost¬† “significant” amounts of weight.

A report released following the visits on February 10 and 14 also says residents with dementia were left distressed, while there was found to be a lack of care, attention and respect for people’s dignity.

Cleanliness standards at the home, owned by Forfar-based Kennedy Care Group, were also found to be unacceptable.

The home was rated “unsatisfactory” – the lowest score – across all areas.

List of concerns

The report details concerns including:

  • The service did not recognise and respond appropriately to people’s changing or increasing needs.
  • People had lost significant amounts of weight and professional advice was not always sought when people continued to lose weight.
  • Plans to ensure people’s care and support needs were met were not always in place, with people living with dementia experiencing stress and distress.
  • Appropriate and responsive action to reduce risks, including falls, was not always identified or taken. This resulted in people experiencing pain and injury.
  • People were at risk of choking or developing chest infections. This put people’s health and safety at serious risk.
  • Cleaning of the home was not carried out to an adequate standard. This meant there was a high risk of cross contamination resulting in serious risks to people’s health, such as transmission of infection.
  • Areas of the home were visibly unclean. This included people’s bedrooms, the dining room and sluice room.
  • The standard of cleanliness in people’s bedrooms and en-suite shower rooms was unacceptable. Furnishings, bedding and mattresses in people’s bedrooms were stained and contaminated.
  • The shower room flooring was stained and sticky and inspectors saw mould in shower cubicles.
Riverview Lodge has been told to make a series of improvements.

The initial inspection took place on February 10 and a letter of serious concern was issued to the provider the following day, with a follow-up visit on February 14.

But inspectors say they were not satisfied that progress had been made by that stage.

The report added: “Whilst some improvements were made, we concluded that service users were experiencing significantly poor outcomes as a result of using the service.

The service must take urgent action to improve the quality of care provided in order to ensure that people are protected

Care Inspectorate

“The inspection highlighted critical weaknesses in aspects of the service which could significantly affect the care that people received.

“The service must take urgent action to improve the quality of care provided in order to ensure that people are protected and that their wellbeing improves without delay.”

The Care Inspectorate has issued an improvement notice, demanding that the home takes action by April 12.

What have residents and families said?

Inspectors spoke to four residents during their visits, as well as speaking to relatives.

Those living in the home made comments including: “I’m well fed”, “I’m wearied”, “you get a lot of sandwiches” and “I’ve nothing to do”.

Family members were said to be “generally satisfied” with care and support at the home, with one saying they would be “lost” without the service.

But some felt the communication could be improved and that they were only contacted when something was wrong.

One told inspectors:¬†“I feel left in the dark and confused at times.”

Care home owner ‘shocked’ at report

Tom Dailey, Kennedy Care Group owner, expressed his surprise at the level of criticism in the report, when contacted by The Courier.

Mr Dailey said: “I was quite shocked at the outcome of the inspections and the severity of the report.

Care homes have issues from time to time.

“This report paints a picture that is not accurate and portrays staff as not caring.

Tom Dailey.

“That is not the case. Many of the staff are very upset at the picture that has been painted.”

He added: “There are mitigating circumstances. There is no mention that we were in the middle of a Covid outbreak.

“We are now working with the Care Inspectorate to resolve things to their satisfaction.”