In December 2020, as deaths began to rise again in care homes and opposition parties returned to the smell of blood they detected from their ‘common sense’ unqualified notion that hospital discharges must be responsible, the Care Inspectorate applied to cancel the registration of Thornlea Nursing Home in Loanhead Midlothian.
There was no mention of hospital discharges as a suspected cause of infections and deaths, by the Care Inspectorate in December 2020 and there is none in the final report released yesterday but there is, ten times, mention of failures of infection control by the staff, often untrained and under-staffed, in a business operated for profit.
Here is a disturbing extract:
The home was not clean and there were not enough staff to ensure cleaning was carried out to the
necessary standard to help prevent cross infection. This meant it was not a safe environment to live and
work in. We saw adequate supplies of the correct type of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). However, PPE was incorrectly stored alongside cleaning equipment and products that were in use. PPE that was ready for use was on cluttered shelves among ornaments, and on a trolley with an open bag of clinical waste attached.
This would result in contaminated PPE that would be likely to spread infection further.
We did not see staff performing hand hygiene at every opportunity following each episode of care or after
removing PPE. This meant that people were not protected from cross infection. Clinical waste was not managed according to guidelines. For example, we saw that clinical waste was not stored securely to prevent public access. We saw bags of clinical waste in over full waste bins that were not locked and bags of clinical waste on a path next to the main building.
We also saw clinical waste bags being stored in a bath, the room was not secure and did not have signage to
indicate it was out of use as a communal bathroom. This meant that people could have entered the room
and cross infection could occur. This showed a fundamental lack of knowledge and practice in the
management of clinical waste and presented a serious risk to people’s health.
People should experience an environment which is well looked after with a clean, tidy, and well-maintained
premises, furnishings, and equipment. The lack of an effective cleaning regime and not using the right
cleaning products increased the risk of infection spreading. The service had not implemented the enhanced
COVID-19 cleaning guidance and therefore the environment presented a serious risk to people.
Thornlea is one of at least 474 care homes in Scotland being investigated by a special Crown Office unit set up to probe Covid-linked deaths in care homes. No official report has found evidence that hospital discharges caused any outbreaks.
Thornlea had 15 deaths and does not even make the list of the most deadly homes:
Will this be just the first of a flood of reports revealing the care home owners to be guilty and will the likes of Anas Sarwar admit he was wrong?