BBC Scotland’s ‘Leading care home operator’ has two homes with serious infection control failings

BBC Scotland today say:

A leading care home operator has criticised Scottish government plans to relax rules on visiting as “premature” and “ill thought out”. Balhousie Care Group questioned the timing of the move given the rapid increase in the number of Covid cases.

This follows several weeks of reporting based on a small Facebook group campaigning for greater access. As soon as the Scottish Government presents a new system of access to satisfy the group, BBC Scotland turns their attack around and find someone prepared to attack the very system they pushed for.

The care home group in question is Balhousie Care Group. They are by no means ‘leading ‘ when it comes to infection control at this time. Two of their homes had serious problems when inspected recently:

  1. North Inch House, Perth

16 June 2020

8 references to infection

Staff were observed to move between units, lacked understanding of infection control practices and there was poor coordination of working practices. Due to the severity of the concern you, the provider, must take the following action immediately: Starting immediately but to be completed within 72 hours (by Monday 25 May 2020) you must put in place and implement measures to ensure consistent management and leadership in the service to support staff practice and to coordinate the delivery of care in a way which promotes good infection control practices. This should include, but is not limited to, reducing the flow of staff between units, managing the deployment of staff, implementing an enhanced cleaning schedule within the service and introducing improved communication practices between staff.

2. Balhousie Huntly Care Home, Huntly

23 September 2020

18 references to infection

Staff were not seen to not wash their hands been assisting people with their meal. Improvements must be made to infection control practices and adherence to guidance on how best to support people to remain healthy and safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the COVID-19 pandemic it is essential that strict infection control practices and procedures are implemented in order to make sure people are safe. We identified infection control practices that caused concern.

Improvements need to be made to the quality assurance process in the service. Important infection prevention and control audits were blank. This meant that the areas of practice that have caused us concern, had not been identified by the service. There were no audits of staff practice that would have identified any deficits in training or poor practice.

One nurse was on duty each shift. Staff moved between units in the home to enable the nurse to work in the area where clinical support was required. The crossover of staff increased the risk of the spread of infection. A review of staffing should be undertaken to minimise the risk.

Staff who had been employed during the COVID-19 pandemic did not have any infection control, hand washing and correct use of PPE training as part of their induction. The expectation was that new staff would work alongside their peers and learn as they went. This concerned us because of the observations of unsafe infection control practices we had seen, it meant that new staff would not be learning good principles of infection control.

7 thoughts on “BBC Scotland’s ‘Leading care home operator’ has two homes with serious infection control failings

  1. The descriptions of this company’s lack of care is actually horrendous. If this is the case now what were they like before the pandemic? Do they care if people die? It would seem not, looks like some care homes are a death sentence for their residents, they should be immediately shut down. It would be interesting to know when the privatisation of social/care home care cane into being in any significant way. Was it always this way or were these services previously mostly in public hands? Who set the ball rolling, we can guess of course!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Yes, well PQ do have history on “premature” and “ill thought out”, so given the ludicrous Kilgour and Pennington double act previously, let’s see:
    “Balhousie Care Group questioned the timing of the move given the rapid increase in the number of Covid cases” – Where ?
    All 25 of their Homes lie within an area between Dundee and Inverness, not notified for a calamitous increase, are BBC Scotland or Balhousie withholding vital public health information ? Has Glenn “antisemitic hunter extraordinaire” Campbell been despatched to Kingussie to investigate ?
    These non-stories and more on Misreporting Scotland.


  3. This is virtue signalling so that they can go on to say (We told you so)when their woefulll infection control systems are once again found to be non existant, and hey presto ,it’s all the government’s fault.


  4. One of the criteria for allowing visits is that the home has to have been Covid free for 28 days, so judging from the above it won’t affect these two homes anyway!

    Liked by 3 people

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