A Perthshire care home is so run down and cramped that inspectors have raised serious concerns about the ability of staff to keep it clean enough to keep the coronavirus at bay.
The Glenhelenbank House in Luncarty has been branded “weak” by the Care Inspectorate and Healthcare Improvement Scotland in a report to the Scottish Parliament.
Inspectors raised red flags around about the use of personal protective equipment and infection control practices as part of the watchdog’s latest fortnightly update on how care homes are handling the Covid-19 pandemic.
However, they were aso critical of the condition of the independently run building in the village main street, saying there was an “increased opportunity for the spread of infection” due to its ageing state.
The reporter said: “The care home needed to be refurbished. Corridor areas had many scrapes, door frames were damaged, and many surfaces were scuffed, including dining room chairs that should all be replaced.
“This meant there was an increased opportunity for the spread of infection because it reduced the ability to clean effectively.”
The “very small” size of the care home’s corridors, dining and lounge spaces made it very difficult to ensure social distancing, the inspectors said.
The Courier contacted Glenhelenbank to discuss the concerns but was told the care home’s manager was on annual leave.
There have been no confirmed cases at the home, but the inspectors found bosses had not developed coronavirus summary support plans or anticipatory
They said cleaning and hand washing facilities in communal toilets had to improve and an enhanced cleaning schedule for the care home was needed.
Staff at the care home, which can accommodate 13 elderly people, were found to be warm and compassionate but some lacked knowledge about the use of PPE and infection prevention and control practices.
Training was arranged following the visit on July 1 and Perth and Kinross’s health and social care partnership (PK HSCP) was informed.
A spokesperson for the partnership said: “We were made aware of the issues by the Care Inspectorate and we are working with the care home to support them to address the actions outlined.
“Alongside colleagues within Public Health Scotland, we have continued to provide information, guidance and support to the care provider to help ensure the appropriate systems and processes are in place and that residents receive the quality of care they require.
“NHS Tayside’s Health Protection Team is also providing daily telephone support. The care home has access to testing for both staff and residents.”
Inspectors said they will return to the home for a follow-up investigation shortly.