A Huntly care home worker has accused their employer of “risking lives” of vulnerable residents by allowing staff from another home to self-isolate there.
Balhousie Care Group has confirmed a number of workers from its Alastrean facility in Tarland are self-isolating in Huntly, in different buildings, after an outbreak.
The worker, who contacted The Press And Journal anonymously in an effort to “safeguard vulnerable residents and colleagues”, accused bosses of “incompetence”, worried that safety had been compromised.
They added: “I am alarmed and outraged lives of vulnerable adults at Balhousie Huntly are being risked to house colleagues from another care home with Covid.
“The new variant is spreading faster than the previous virus and the public are advised not to travel to other areas so I can’t comprehend why it was decided this was the best plan of action.”
Balhousie has not revealed how many residents and staff at Alastrean had tested positive.
The whistleblower highlighted that residents had been stopped from seeing their own family through the pandemic, yet now infected staff from the city care home had been placed in “close proximity”.
Balhousie – Scotland’s largest private care home provider – was previously criticised by watchdogs for holding a 12-person tea party in the Huntly home during the pandemic, as well as for a lack of handwashing.
A Balhousie spokeswoman said: “We can confirm some staff members from our Alastrean care home are isolating in self-contained accommodation owned by Balhousie Care Group in Huntly.
“This follows an outbreak of Covid-19 at Alastrean, where a number of residents and staff have tested positive.
“The accommodation occupies two stand-alone units on the same grounds as, but separate from, the Huntly care home.
“It is vital during this pandemic we all do our utmost to contain the spread of a highly contagious virus.
“This includes not only first-class infection prevention and control procedures but also practical and effective self-isolating procedures.”