A GLASGOW nursing home could be forced to close amid “serious and significant concerns” over the quality of care for elderly residents.
The Care Inspectorate has lodged an application with the sheriff court seeking to cancel the registration of Rowandale Nursing Home in Pollokshields, which provides specialist dementia and palliative care to older adults.
An interim hearing at Glasgow Sheriff Court is expected to take place on Thursday.
The watchdog said its action against the home, which is run by private provider Forth Care Ltd, comes after it failed to make required improvements.
The 28-bed premises, located in a converted church, was mostly rated ‘weak’ during an unannounced visit by inspectors in July this year, but further details of the specific concerns which have led to legal action will not be released until they are set out in court.
The home’s owners can challenge and appeal against the cancellation but if granted the home will have to be shut down or taken over by another operator.
It current management said the pandemic had left it financially unsustainable.
A spokesman for the Care Inspectorate said: “An inspection has identified serious and significant concerns about the quality of care experienced by residents at Rowandale Nursing Home in Glasgow.
“We understand this is a difficult and distressing time for residents, their loved ones and staff at the home.
“However, our first priority is always the health, safety and wellbeing of residents.
“The Care Inspectorate visited this home unannounced in July and August and identified significant concerns.
“We issued a Letter of Serious Concern requiring safe and effective management, leadership, and oversight of the care home and improved working practices and care of people in the home.
“Further inspection and monitoring identified that none of the required improvements from the Letter of Serious Concern or previous inspections have been met and we identified further serious concerns.
“Because of this, and because the improvements required have not been made, we have submitted an application to the sheriff court seeking cancellation of the care home’s registration.
“This could allow new care arrangements to be put in place for residents of the home.
“We are working closely with partners including Glasgow Health and Social Care Partnership and the Scottish Government to ensure that residents experience appropriate care that meets their needs during this difficult time.”
An inspection report published following an unannounced visit to the premises on July 9 said there were “some strengths and areas of good practice”, but that these “were outweighed with significant areas of weakness which affected people’s experiences and outcomes”.
Inspectors found that CCTV cameras had been installed in lounges, hallways and dining areas without prior consultation with relatives, in breach of official guidance for care providers.
Although the staff “knew people well and worked hard to try and meet their care needs”, inspectors said there were “very limited opportunities to meaningfully engage with people” and highlighted that the home’s activities organiser post “had been vacant for months and opportunities to participate in any planned or spontaneous activities were very limited”.
Inspectors said the menus on display “did not match the food options available to residents” and that “the food offered lacked variety”.
The inspectors noted that no complaints against the home had been upheld since the last inspection of July 2020, and there had been no coronavirus outbreaks at Rowandale since a change of ownership in September 2020.
According to data published in April this year, Rowandale Nursing Home had recorded one Covid death since the pandemic escalated in Scotland in March 2020.
However, they said “the cleanliness of some equipment and furnishings needed to improve”, including bedding, bedrails and en suite shower rooms.
They found that a number of hand sanitiser dispensers needed to be refilled; repairs were needed to the dishwasher “to ensure crockery and cutlery are effectively cleaned”; and there was “inconsistent use of PPE” such as “not wearing face masks appropriately and using the same gloves between various tasks”.
Inspectors said staffing levels needed to be reviewed, noting that “while staff worked hard to meet people’s basic care needs” they had “little opportunity to engage meaningfully or provide levels of support that people should expect”.
The report stated that the provider was at the time seeking to recruit a deputy manager, maintenance person, activities organiser and reception/administration staff.
However, inspectors also warned that there was “no documented evidence that the required pre-employment checks had been undertaken” in relation to staff members who had begun working at the nursing home in the months leading up to the inspection, adding: “A robust recruitment and induction procedure is important for ensuring people using the service are protected.”
Rowandale Nursing Home was previously in the spotlight in September 2019 when a senior care worker, Daniel Akers, was struck off after an inquiry found that he had subjected an elderly resident to “verbal, physical and psychological abuse”.
The pensioner was said to have been “humiliated for his [Mr Akers] own gratification”, including making her wear her jacket indoors, falsely telling her a complaint had been made against her, pushing her, and repeatedly asking her where the toilet was knowing she was unable to answer.
His behaviour was reported by three junior members of staff at the home who gave evidence to the Scottish Social Services Council, the regulatory body for care workers.
Kenneth Macmillan, deputy manager of Rowandale Nursing Home, said it was “not able to sustain financially” as a result of the Covid pandemic.
He added: “Despite having new leadership management in place last year in September and their investment of time and money for the well being of residents and staff, we were not able to sustain this care home.
“The care home residents will be missed and we are trying our best to relocate them to new care homes with the help of stakeholders and wish them all to have a safe departure.
“We will be cooperating with all the agencies in order to ensure the safety and care of the residents are looked after.”
A spokeswoman for Glasgow Health & Social Care Partnership said: “We are working closely with the Care Inspectorate to find suitable, safe and secure alternative accommodation for 21 Glasgow people affected by legal action against a purchased care home service, Rowandale Nursing Home, due to concerns about the standard of care it has provided.
“The well-being of the residents is our top priority and we are liaising with relatives of those affected and advocacy services to ensure the transition to the new accommodation is as smooth as possible.
“In the meantime, the HSCP has sent its own nursing staff in to oversee the residents’ care and ensure it is of the high standards we expect.”