A CARE home criticised by inspectors over its lack of Covid training for staff is to close, leaving dozens of elderly residents in limbo.

Wellmeadow Lodge care home in East Renfrewshire is set to close by the end of April, although its owners Care UK said it will be "flexible according to the needs of the residents".

One relative, whose 80-year-old father has been in the home since April last year, said it had come as a shock as families had been told that residents' rooms were being redecorated.

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She said: "All the residents and their relatives were told at Christmas that people were going to be coming to paint their rooms, which was odd because it seemed like quite an unnecessary thing to do at a time when people weren't even allowed to visit their families.

"I haven't seen my father in months.

"It was New Year's Eve that everyone was told to pack their boxes and they were pushed into this one building next door, into what can only be described as solitary confinement.

"They weren't allowed out, they couldn't socialise, and then the Covid cases started. That care home had been Covid-free until they moved them all.

"And now it doesn't seem like the residents were moved for their own benefit at all, because this company is just selling the building."

HeraldScotland: Covid deaths in hospitals, care homes, and home/non-institution settings in Scotland since the beginning of the pandemic (National Records of Scotland)Covid deaths in hospitals, care homes, and home/non-institution settings in Scotland since the beginning of the pandemic (National Records of Scotland)

In a statement, Care UK said they had planned to redecorate the rooms but "as our building management team looked more closely at the fabric of the building, we realised it requires much more than simple paint and wallpaper".

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It added that some people at the home have tested positive for Covid but "most do not have serious symptoms".

Wellmeadow Lodge, in Newton Mearns, provides nursing and dementia care for up to 84 residents, but faced criticism from the Care Inspectorate in October last year.

The watchdog rated it "weak" in three categories – health and wellbeing of residents, infection control and staffing - and said staff had not received training specific to Covid-19, and were not always using personal protective equipment (PPE) correctly.

HeraldScotland: Dave Ashbolt, of Care UKDave Ashbolt, of Care UK

An infection control champion was appointed and PPE training re-run, but Dave Ashbolt, a regional director for Care UK, said the building itself was no longer viable.

He said: “It has become increasingly obvious that the outdated layout makes it difficult for us to deliver the high levels of care residents deserve.

"The buildings are old and becoming increasingly difficult to maintain and require substantial investment to meet the high standards residents deserve and our regulators expect.

"This is not a decision we have taken lightly and we have looked at alternatives such as making structural changes to the buildings, but this isn’t viable."

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It comes days after it emerged that Scotland's only specialist care homes for blind and partially sighted elderly people - Jenny's Well in Paisley and Braeside House in Edinburgh - are to close by April.

The charity which runs them, Sight Scotland, blamed "unsustainable financial losses".

A spokesman for East Renfrewshire Health and Social Care Partnership said: “We are working closely with the residents [of Wellmeadow] and their families to find each individual alternative care and to plan a smooth transition to their new care home."