An award-winning north-east nursing home has been ordered by a watchdog to improve by today after its Covid-19 care was rated weak.
Officials from the Care Inspectorate and Healthcare Improvement Scotland visited Mowat Court in Stonehaven.
It has been told to tighten up its cleaning procedures after discarded PPE in an overflowing bin, and care equipment which had not been cleaned and decontaminated “effectively” was discovered during the unannounced inspection.
The facility, which was once named the best in Scotland, on Kirkton Road provides full-time residential, nursing and dementia care for a maximum of 44 residents.
The inspection on February 1 , carried out to find out how people were being supported during the pandemic, rated its care and support as weak giving it a rating of 2 in the six point scale, in which a 6 would be the highest grade.
The report said there were “warm and compassionate” interactions between residents and staff.
But the document said there were issues with cleanliness in people’s bedrooms and bathrooms with one vacant room still containing the belongings of the previous resident.
There was “significant debris” on a bathroom floor and discarded personal protective equipment (PPE) was found in an overflowing bin.
Inspectors also found stains on pillows and dust on bed frames.
Mowat Court was given until today (February 12) to make sure all areas, care equipment, fixtures and furniture in the home are cleaned and maintained in a way that supports effective infection control.
The home must also make sure staff are carrying out the safe transportation and decontamination of workwear in a way that supports effective infection control.
The Care Inspectorate report said: “The home was clean, well decorated and maintained in public areas, however, we found that the standards in communal areas, people’s bedrooms and bathrooms fell below what we would expect of a care home.
“We found that cleaning schedules and quality assurance audits were taking place and being completed, but these did not reflect our findings. We gave advice on more effective systems and processes for quality assurance to help support improvement.
“Most bedrooms required some general refurbishment and decorating. The walls in some rooms were damaged and paint was chipped. The flooring had basic repairs carried out on torn parts, which meant that cleaning would be difficult and infection control compromised.
“One room, which had been vacant for some time, still contained many belongings from the previous resident.
“There was significant debris on the floor and the bathroom was dirty, with an overflowing bin containing discarded used personal protective equipment (PPE). Care equipment had not been cleaned and decontaminated effectively, making the risk of cross-infection high.
“We found that mattresses and shared equipment were not always cleaned effectively and well maintained. This placed people at risk from the spread of infection. All mattresses that we examined, were either stained or the covering was compromised. Pillows were stained and had not been laundered when dirty. Dust and dirt were visible on people’s bedframes and there was debris underneath the beds. Together, this impacted negatively in keeping people safe and minimising the risk of cross-infection.”
Mowat Court, which is operated by Care UK, was crowned Scotland Care Home of the Year at the Caring UK Awards in 2019.
A Care UK spokeswoman said: “We were pleased to see that the inspectors found lots of positive aspects of care at the home – the report says that they found warmth and compassion from the team and plenty of meaningful activities and engagement taking place.
“We take hygiene and infection control very seriously and I am sorry that there was this lapse in the cleanliness of some fixtures and fittings in the home. We take any non-compliance of our processes by any member of the team as a very serious matter and we have acted swiftly to put it right with a deep clean and assessing whether any additional training or resources are required going forwards.
”Additionally, every team member has been reminded of the very strict processes in our pandemic plan for transporting and washing uniforms that they are required to follow and the managers will be regularly checking to make sure they are followed.”