Home purchased by NHS Highland.
The wellbeing of residents at Home Farm in Portree has been protected by NHS Highland who are to purchase the care home, the Health Secretary has confirmed.
The purchase of the home by NHS Highland from provider HC-One has been secured with £900,000 of additional funding from the Scottish Government.
Following intervention early this year by the Care Inspectorate, NHS Highland provided significant levels of input to the care home in order to improve the standards of care and cleanliness for the residents and safeguard their wellbeing.
The Scottish Government has worked closely with NHS Highland and the Care Inspectorate throughout this period to deliver long-term stability for the home and ensure the safety and wellbeing of residents.
Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said:
"Safeguarding the wellbeing of the current residents at Home Farm in Portree has been a priority for the Scottish Government and I am pleased that NHS Highland has negotiated to purchase this care home.
“Everyone in Scotland has the right to safe, compassionate care which meets their needs and respects their rights and it is good that improvements have been made in the quality of care offered at the care home with support from the health board, the Care Inspectorate and other partners. This includes practices related to infection prevention and control, use of PPE, staff training, cleaning of premises and the maintenance of adequate staffing levels.
“The future ownership of this home by NHS Highland also provides an assurance for people on Skye that provision of residential nursing care in their community will continue.
“Early this week the First Minister announced an independent review into how adult social care can be most effectively reformed to deliver a national approach to care and support services. Undoubtedly, the experience of Home Farm through the pandemic will feed into the review which I expect will build upon our existing commitments to improving provision.
“We owe it to those who use and work in adult social care services to acknowledge these challenges, to learn from them, and to consider carefully how we can most effectively plan and deliver care in the future.”
Paul Hawkins, NHS Highland Chief Executive, said: “We have worked constructively with HC-One over the last number of weeks to improve the standards of care within the home, particularly in relation to managing infection control in a COVID-19 environment. Securing the future of the home under the Highland Health and Social Care Partnership within the NHS will enable us to ensure these standards are maintained.”
The transfer of the care home to NHS Highland is due to take effect from November 2020 and will involve the transfer of staff into the employment of the NHS with improved terms and conditions.
The Care Inspectorate has published inspection reports on the standard of care at Home Farm.
Background on Home Farm:
Following inspections at the beginning of May which highlighted substandard living circumstances and quality of care, the Care Inspectorate applied to the courts for an interim suspension order and emergency cancellation of the care home’s registration under section 65 of the Public Services Reform (Scotland) Act 2010.
NHS Highland provided significant levels of input to the care home from the outset in order to improve the standards of care and cleanliness for the residents and safeguard their wellbeing.
As a result the Care Inspectorate were able to assess over subsequent months that the circumstances of care in Home Farm were much improved.
In response to this steady improvement evidenced in monitoring visits and inspections throughout July and August 2020, the Care Inspectorate ultimately took a decision to withdraw from the Emergency Cancellation application previously lodged with Inverness Sheriff Court.
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