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Aberdeen care home ordered to improve by watchdog

Balnagask House in Aberdeen.
Balnagask House in Aberdeen.

An Aberdeen care home rated weak by inspectors has been ordered to improve.

The Care Inspectorate visited Balnagask House in Torry on March 23 and set down three requirements it must meet by today.

They are providing a safe and secure environment, having the appropriate number of staff and improving the availability of the management.

Balnagask House looks after a maximum of 30 elderly people and is operated by Bon Accord Care.

Balnagask House on North Balnagask Road.</p> <p>

Officials rated the home’s standards of care during the Covid-19 pandemic as weak on their six-point scale.

In their report inspectors said that the home on North Balnagask Road was “generally tidy” and when it came to personal protective equipment (PPE) for staff it was “well-stocked.”

But the document said some areas did not have the correct PPE or there were no clinical waste bins.

It said: “We saw several instances of poor practice which were unsafe and could lead to injury or cross-infection. It was disappointing that some of these areas had been identified for action in recent audits and were still deficient at the time of our visit.

“This meant people could not be confident in a culture of robust quality assurance and continuous improvement. It is important that identified areas are followed up and each worker takes responsibility and accountability for their practice. This is to ensure a consistently safe and secure environment for the residents.”

The watchdog also raised concerns about the number of staff on duty at the Torry care facility with concerns over the potential infection and lack of activities for residents.

The report said: “There were not enough staff on duty and involved in direct support for residents.

“This meant that they could not work solely in their cohorted areas, which increased the risk of cross-infection. Also, there was not enough time to complete care tasks for people and to also spend time supporting them towards their outcomes, for example with activities or sitting and chatting.

“It is vital for good and safe care that staffing numbers meet the required amount, especially in the area of direct care.”

The third requirement from the Care Inspectorate relates to management with staff not knowing who was in charge on the day the watchdog visited.

The report said: “We found it difficult to know who was clearly in charge of the home on the day we visited. This difficulty was confirmed by one of the workers that we spoke with, who told us that that they weren’t sure who was in charge and there had been lots of changes recently.

“The leadership team should be easily available for residents to speak to, and also to actively support workers in maintaining high standards at all times. This will lead to a high quality of care and support aligned with best practice guidance.”

Balnagask House was given until April 2 to make the improvements as set down by the Care Inspectorate.

In response to the report, a spokesman for Bon Accord Care said: “Bon Accord Care continues to work closely with Aberdeen City Health & Social Care Partnership to make sure that the Care Inspectorate’s requirements are fully met.  Measures were immediately put in place to address the issues identified.

“We were heartened that the report highlighted how much our staff are appreciated by those in their care and we will ensure they are fully supported.

“We can reassure families that Bon Accord Care and the Balnagask team remains committed to providing quality care and meeting the individual needs of their loved-ones.”

This article originally appeared on the Evening Express website. For more information, read about our new combined website.