Two residents have died and another is recovering in hospital after a coronavirus outbreak swept through a small Perthshire care home.
Of the 13 residents living at Glenhelenbank in Luncarty, 10 have tested positive and some are still self-isolating. One resident is currently recovering in PRI and two more have been “significantly affected.”
Around half of the staff at the independent Perthshire home, which has operated since 1978, have also returned positive tests, but all employees are set to return to work this week.
The outbreak is the first that the premises has experienced and is something care inspectors warned it was at risk of in July.
This summer, a Care Inspectorate team labelled the home’s response to the pandemic as “weak” and said the condition of the home made it particularly difficult to minimise the risk of infection, something management at the time refuted.
Manager Louise Seaward said: “We currently have an outbreak of Covid-19 in the home, this being the only outbreak having managed to stay Covid-19 free until now.
“We are a small home with only 13 residents. Despite our best efforts, 10 of our residents have unfortunately tested positive.
“Around half our workforce have been affected and all of our staff will be able to return to work [this] week.
“Unfortunately, two of our residents have passed away during this time.”
“One came to us at the beginning of November specifically for end of life care. The other was a long-term resident of the home.
“Both were much loved members of the Glenhelenbank family and this has had a significant impact emotionally on our staff. Our thoughts are with their families at this sad time.”
Louise explained that a deep clean is being carried out and management strenuously deny any allegations that staff had failed to quarantine correctly after returning from a holiday abroad.
“We also have one resident who is continuing to recover in Perth Royal Infirmary and we hope she can return home soon,” Louise added.
“Whilst some residents have fully recovered and are now out of isolation and able to resume daily activities, we do still have two residents who have been significantly impacted by Covid-19 and we continue to support them and their families on a daily basis.
“All of our residents will have completed their 14-day isolation in the early part of [this] week.”
NHS Tayside confirmed that a health board-run incident management team wasn’t set up following the outbreak.
The Care Inspectorate visited the home on December 10 at “the height of our outbreak” and bosses are bracing themselves for a “severely disappointing” report.
Inspectors arrived when staffing had been worst-hit and the provider says agencies were unable to cover outstanding shifts.
The Glenhelenbank team say they are working closely with the Care Inspectorate and the Health and Social Care Partnership to implement these improvements to “return Glenhelenbank to the well respected and highly regarded community home it has always been.”