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Council bosses in the Western Isles say areas where improvement is needed at its Daliburgh care home on South Uist, where one resident died in a coronavirus outbreak last month, will be addressed with immediate effect.
The National Care Inspectorate this week published a detailed report following a recent inspection of care and infection prevention and control practices at Taigh a’Chridhe Uile Naomh (TACUN/Sacred Heart House) care home.
This inspection was Covid-19 specific, following last month’s outbreak , which also saw a number of residents and staff test positive for the infection. As with all care homes which experience a Covid outbreak, an inspection into practices was undertaken.
The National Care Inspectorate spoke to staff and the relatives of residents and carried out a physical inspection of the care home, which was then graded on the quality of care and support during the pandemic.
Infection control practices to support a safe environment for people experiencing care and staff were rated as good, as were staffing arrangements being responsive to the changing needs of residents.
However, when it came to people’s health and wellbeing being supported and safeguarded during the Covid-19 pandemic, the home was graded only as adequate.
Inspectors had spoken with six relatives over the telephone and by email. Their feedback was generally positive, while relatives and carers also spoke highly of the care and support that staff provided.
On the reason for the ‘adequate’ grade on the question of people’s health and wellbeing being supported and safeguarded during the pandemic, inspectors commented: ‘We found the service was performing at an adequate level. There were some strengths but these were just outweighed weaknesses. While the strengths had a positive impact, key areas of performance need to improve.
‘It is important that people and their relatives have regular communication that keeps them up to date on the impact of Covid-19.
‘Relatives spoke highly of the care and support provided and were very complimentary about the way people were supported during the recent Covid-19 outbreak.
‘Families felt that communication at other times could be improved as there was often a delay in the service contacting them about important issues.
‘While staff had a good knowledge about how to support people to maintain contact with people who were important to them, this was not detailed in their care plans.’
A Comhairle spokesperson commented: ‘Our priority from the start of the outbreak, was to have a sufficiency of staff in place, staff with the right skill set and to have robust infection control measures to manage the risk of further transmission.
‘The inspection report evidences that we succeeded in this respect and we appreciate the hard work and dedication of the staff working in TACUN who worked tirelessly to maintain high standards of infection control. The areas for improvement identified include improving our recording and quality assurance.
‘All the areas identified will be addressed and we will get to work on this with immediate effect.’