Care home probe under way

Muirhead Care Home, near Alford
Muirhead Care Home, near Alford

A care home in Aberdeenshire is putting in place an action plan following allegations its elderly residents have been put at risk.

It comes after a damning inspection carried out at Lawson Muirhead Care Home, near Alford, by the Care Inspectorate in July.

The home, with 35 residents, remains open but the inspectorate has applied to Aberdeen Sheriff Court to have it closed. The application was unsuccessful at Aberdeen Sheriff Court on Wednesday of last week and was continued to a court hearing tomorrow (Friday).

A police investigation has also been launched into the residential home at Muir of Fowlis.

The inspectorate said that in its recent visit the quality of care was “unacceptable”.

A spokesperson said: “Everyone is entitled to high quality care that reflects their needs and upholds their rights. Our most recent inspection found that the quality of care is unacceptable.

“We found people were not getting the care and support they need, with serious concerns about staff recruitment, including the number of staff, staff training, and experience.

“We also identified serious concerns about food in the care home, and the way people should be supported to have well-balanced and nutritious meals.

“We found numerous hazards and found that very serious incidents had not been followed up correctly.”

A Police Scotland spokeswoman said: “Police are working with partners including the Care Inspectorate and Aberdeenshire Council after concerns were raised regarding Muirhead Care Home in Alford, Aberdeenshire. Inquiries are at an early stage and are ongoing.”

Iain Ramsay, of Aberdeenshire Health and Social Care Partnership, said: “Our teams have been working closely with the Care Inspectorate to provide support to the residents and their families.”

A care home statement said it has been committed to providing high quality care since 1987.

It added: “We were only made aware very recently that the quality of that care was being questioned.

“The Care Inspectorate were unsuccessful in seeking an interim order from the court which would have effectively seen the home closed and residents moved.

“We have given an undertaking to the court that we will provide an action plan to address those issues of concern which we have been made aware of.

“We expect to work closely with the Health and Social Care Partnership to ensure that they are reassured by the steps being taken and trust that we will have their full co-operation as we work together to ensure the best care for our residents.”