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The news that NHS Highland is to purchase Home Farm care home on Skye has been welcomed by local councillor John Gordon, whose own father died in the coronavirus outbreak at the facility in May.
NHS Highland (NHSH) has now signed an initial agreement with home operator HC-One regarding the purchase of Home Farm Care Home at Portree.
Ten residents died in the outbreak of Covid-19 and Home Farm ended up subject to court proceedings, with the future of the home under review for several months.
The Care Inspectorate has now announced that it is no longer pursuing the cancellation of the service’s registration through the courts, and has recognised the improvements in the standards of care within the care home which came about after increased support from NHS Highland.
NHS Highland says its primary aim, throughout this period, has been to see the best possible care for the residents of Home Farm care home and this takeover will give security to the residents of Home Farm, their relatives and the staff that care for them, when the transfer of ownership takes place.
NHS Highland will work with HC-One and the Care Inspectorate to establish registration, conclude legal matters and manage the transfer of staff and assets over the coming weeks.
Councillor Gordon told the Lochaber Times: ‘I welcome the news NHSH have purchased the home; many in our community are relieved this has happened as there is very little trust and confidence with HC-One continuing to operate Home Farm and it would take a very long time for that to return, if ever.
‘The Scottish Government, however, has not given a guarantee who will meet the running costs and the expectation that Highland Council or NHSH will is unfair, as a result of continued budget cuts to both sectors, and it is vital that the cabinet secretary for health gives an assurance soon this will be met by government.’
Councillor Gordon, together with fellow Skye members, John Finlayson, Calum Munro and Calum MacLeod, has signed a motion which will come before today’s (Thursday) meeting of the full Highland Council and which calls on the local authority to write to the Scottish Government asking it to agree to underwrite the estimated £1.2million annual revenue costs of the home.