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Large scale investigation launched at an Inverness care home following damning report

Southside Care Home have been issued an improvement notice.
Southside Care Home have been issued an improvement notice.

A probe has been launched into care at a nursing home in Inverness after inspectors found residents were suffering “physical harm and emotional distress”.

The Care Inspectorate found the quality of care at Southside Care Home had “declined” and the way the practice operates concluded that there was a “significant risk to people’s life, health and wellbeing”.

One resident had fractured their wrist while unsupervised in a communal area and dementia sufferers have managed to leave the premises unnoticed on more than one occasion.

During the unannounced inspection it was noted that people were left in conservatory areas, sat in silence, bored and uninterested in the TV.

One person’s records revealed they had lost a significant amount of weight, however, inspectors were told their food and fluid intake had not been monitored to make sure they were eating and drinking enough.

The watchdog imposed an emergency condition on the nursing home, preventing new admissions to the privately-run facility. A “large scale investigation” with NHS Highland has been launched under adult protection legislation.

A NHS Highland spokesman confirmed the large scale investigation and explained that Southside Nursing Home Limited has contacted residents and relatives to inform them of the investigation.

He said: “NHS Highland is in contact with residents and relatives and will keep them informed of its progress. NHS Highland has ensured that all residents are reviewed and the provider has enhanced their staffing compliment.

“In partnership with the Highland Council, NHS Highland is working closely with the registered operators of Southside nursing home, to support their improvement actions and to ensure the safety and wellbeing of residents.”

An improvement notice was issued, the service needs to ensure it is meeting people’s health, safety and wellbeing needs by September 1.

Interactive Map: Find out how many complaints were made about each Scottish care home

An unsatisfactory rating was given for the home’s support of resident’s wellbeing, leadership and staffing. Meanwhile, Covid care was described as “adequate”.

Staffing shortages

The report states that staff spoke of “routinely being taken away from caring duties to clean, prepare meals or launder clothing” which led to increased pressure for staff.

It went on to say: “While onsite, we saw that staff did not have enough time to offer support and reassurance to people experiencing stress and distress.”

The watchdog did state they found the staff “caring and compassionate”, however, noted that there were not enough staff on each shift to “meet people’s needs and keep them safe”.

It was found that low staff numbers impacted on the quality of people’s lives, and residents experienced a lack of choice and control over their lives.

One of the requirements set is to ensure there are enough staff on each shift to prepare food, clean and launder clothes without needing to remove staff from caring duties.

A spokesman for Southside Care Home said: “We are deeply disappointed in our recent Care Inspectorate report, which does not reflect the high standards of service we work hard to provide to all our residents.

“We have taken immediate action to increase the number of staff on the floor at all times and are confident that in doing so we will have met the main requirements of the Care Inspectorate.

“We are working closely with the Care Inspectorate, the NHS and our own staff to ensure all concerns are addressed within the specified time frames.”

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