A CARE home could face closure after inspectors warned staff would not be able to recognise if residents had Covid-19 and there was a "high risk" the virus would spread quickly.

Ashwood House Care Home in Callander has been issued with a notice of proposal to cancel registration by the Care Inspectorate after it found "minimal progress" had been made following a damning inspection and significant concerns remained about the wellbeing of residents.

The home, which is run by Mauricare, has been given 14 days to appeal the decision.

Serious infection control risks were identified on the first day of the initial inspection on July 13. According to the report, "The risk of an infection spreading quickly was high and people were at significant risk of becoming seriously ill should Covid-19 enter the home."

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The use and disposal of personal protective equipment (PPE) was described as "inconsistent" and risked increasing the transmission of the virus. There was no enhanced cleaning of frequently touched areas such as handrails, door handles and other surfaces

Staff were found wearing masks below the nose and were touching objects and surfaces without removing or changing their PPE while others were not wearing gloves as they administered personal care.

Residents were not sitting at the required social distance and inspectors found that there was no guidance for elderly people with diabetes, who are more at risk from the virus and require close monitoring.

The report warned that this meant that for those people, there was an increased risk that their symptoms of illness would not be recognised by staff on duty or responded to effectively. 

Inspectors found toilet bowls which had not been cleaned after use and dead insects on windowsills in some of the bath and shower rooms. 

Inspectors visited Ashwood House, which is owned by Mauricare, on July 30 to check on progress made after the earlier inspection, which had issued a series of deadlines to make improvements and found that very little had changed.

In a statement, the owners said they recognised the findings and claimed the home had not experienced any cases of Covid-19.

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The report also found that residents with dementia who were displaying "high levels of stress and distress" were not being supported by staff. Most were asleep and there was no encouragement to take any form of physical activity such as walks outside.

"Some people were sitting at dining room tables long after their meal had finished or sleeping whilst awaiting assistance to mobilise to another area of the home."

Inspectors also found there were no recording charts in place to monitor the intake of fluids which meant they were at risk of becoming unwell or dehydrated.

The home has 14 days to appeal the notice. It is permitted to continue operating because the Care Inspectorate has not requested an emergency cancellation, which was sought from the courts to close Home Farm in Skye following an significant outbreak of the virus.

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A spokesperson for Mauricare said: "Ashwood House received a formal notice dated 05 August 2020 yesterday from the Care Inspectorate.

"We are taking legal advice and will be making representation in line with due process in time.

"We recognise the findings , our staffs and management continue to work very hard  to ensure safety and well beings of our residents. It is worth noting that Ashwood House has been free of Covid-19.

"We are thankful to all relevant authorities concerned especially Stirling Council  for ongoing support .

"We remain committed to see the improvements required and maintained. Our Residents welfare continues to be our priority.

A spokesperson for the Care Inspectorate said: "The Care Inspectorate visited Ashwood House care home in Callander on 30 July to check on progress made after an earlier inspection raised concerns about the quality of care experienced by residents.

"On our latest visit we found minimal progress on areas that must improve and we continue to have significant concerns about the wellbeing of residents.

"Our first priority is always the health, safety and wellbeing of residents and because of our continued concerns we have decided to cancel the service's registration under Section 64(1) of the Public Services Reform (Scotland) Act, 2010.

“We understand this is a difficult and distressing time for residents, their loved ones and staff at the home.

“We are working closely with partners including the local health and social care partnership to ensure that residents experience appropriate care."