Inspectors visiting a Fife care home found mattresses and pressure cushions contaminated with body fluids.
The Care Inspectorate said vulnerable residents at Chapel Level Nursing Home in Kirkcaldy were not appropriately protected from Covid-19 due to the contamination of a significant amount of equipment, which also included crash mats and toileting aids.
Wooden hand rails, skirting boards and door frames along the home’s corridors were found to be chipped, with peeling paint, which made them hard to clean, while freshly laundered items were stored in a area contaminated with dust and debris.
The inspectors described the cleaning as inadequate.
They also found staff were wearing vinyl gloves to deliver personal care, which they are not suitable for, and nitrile gloves were not readily available at PPE stations.
They were so worried they ruled the care and support offered to residents during the coronavirus pandemic was weak and issued a “serious concerns” letter ordering immediate improvements.
Chapel Level is owned by HC-One, one of the UK’s biggest care home providers, and has remained Covid-free throughout the pandemic.
HC-One said it took the Care Inspectorate’s comments very seriously and had immediately rectified the issues raised.
In their report, the inspectors said: “During an outbreak of Covid-19, the application of strict infection control procedures is paramount to make sure people are safe.
“People using the service should be able to expect an environment that is well looked after with clean, tidy, well-maintained premises, furnishings and equipment.
“However, we found that a significant amount of equipment inspected was contaminated with body fluids.
“This included mattresses, crash mats, pressure-relieving cushions and toileting aids.”
They ruled five mattresses were not fit for purpose and must be replaced.
They also ordered managers to ensure robust cleaning of all equipment in the home was undertaken and a schedule of deep cleaning implemented.
“People experiencing care were not appropriately protected because there was inadequate cleaning,” they said.
The Care Inspectorate revisited the home two days later and found all the requirements had been met.
They also pointed to a number of positive aspects of care within Chapel Level, including regular contact with family and friends via phone calls and video chats during lockdown.
Staff and essential visitors had their temperatures recorded and hand sanitiser was available throughout the care home.
In addition, all new residents to the home were kept in isolation for 14 days, in line with Scottish Government guidance.
A spokesperson for HC-One said: the health, safety and wellbeing of residents and staff were “an absolute priority”.
“We therefore take all feedback from the Care Inspectorate very seriously,” they said.
“Alongside much positive feedback about the overall quality of care being provided, the kindness of the staff team, and the robustness of the home’s infection control plan, we were disappointed that inspectors found some elements of this plan were not being fully implemented.
“This was immediately rectified so that when inspectors returned a few days later they were able to see and approve of the work that had been completed.
“Our regional team is on hand to support local colleagues to make sure our comprehensive coronavirus prevention and protection plan continues to be fully delivered, and all colleagues at the home are working hard to keep residents and each other safe.”