A major investigation is underway at a Glasgow care home amid claims serious lapses in care led to elderly people being hospitalised.

A whistleblower claimed there had been cases where residents at Golfhill Nursing Home required surgery to amputate limbs because conditions such as gangrene had not been identified.

Others are said to have been admitted to hospital suffering from dehydration due to insufficient checks at the 105-bed home in Dennistoun.

The Care Inspectorate has given the company a deadline to make swift improvements or the home risks having its registration cancelled.

Responding to the allegations, a spokesman for Advinia Healthcare, which runs the home, said it was cooperating fully with a “large scale” investigation but refuted the allegation that residents had required amputations due to lapses in care.

He said one resident had been admitted to the home three years ago and it later emerged they required surgery.

The problems are said to centre on the intermediate care unit, where elderly residents are transferred after being discharged from hospital.

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They will generally require a higher level of care and normally remain there for around a month before being sent home or into long-term care.

According to a source the unit has been short staffed, “almost on a daily basis” because employees were being transferred to other areas of the home.

The source said: “The GP who had the contract for the intermediate care unit has ended her contract and it was was to close at the end of October...this was a positive decision. 

“The contract states that the unit has one registered nurse and four carers.

“This has been abused and frequently staff are taken from the unit and sent to one of the other three units in Golfhill to cover sickness, leaving the intermediate unit short almost daily. 

HeraldScotland:

“The contract also states that agency nurses are not used in Denniston as the residents sent there are acute.Again this does not happen. 

“There have been numerous episodes of poor care resulting in patients requiring surgery to amputate limbs due to conditions such as gangrene not being identified...residents going to hospital because they are dehydrated.”

The source expressed concern that a decision to close the unit had now been reversed.

They said: “Despite social work and the care inspectorate receiving complaint after complaint from myself and other unit managers, other health professionals and relatives they have now decided that the unit should stay open. 

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“These residents are at the mercy of poor decisions being made. I cannot understand why social work would allow this unit to stay open when they are aware of the poor care being given.”

A report by the Crown Office, published in April, showed Golfhill care home recorded 11 deaths related to coronavirus, among the highest rates.

The Care Inspectorate investigation is said to have followed months of complaints about sub-standard and unsafe conditions at the home.

The source described a “revolving door” management and said staff were advised not to engage with health professionals outwith the home.

HeraldScotland:

The source said: “Staffing levels are constantly below those that dependency levels dictate and constantly there is only one or two registered nurses overnight, this practice is happening at least weekly if not more often.

“Staff are not competent and outside professionals are attending to do basic nursing tasks that staff within the home should be competent to do.

“There is yet again a new manager starting that has left one home with a monaturium to take charge of this home.

“Staff are leaving at an alarming rate including other members of management that can no longer work with this team due to bullying.”

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A spokeswoman for the Care Inspectorate said: "We understand this is a really worrying time for residents and their loved ones. We are monitoring this service closely."

A spokesman for the nursing home provider said: “ The safety and wellbeing of our residents is our highest priority at all times.

“Like many care homes across the country, the home has faced challenges in terms of recruitment during the pandemic. 

“We can confirm that the home is currently the subject of a Large Scale Investigation and we are cooperating fully with that process to ensure that the home meets all regulatory standards.

“Our dedicated and compassionate care teams have worked tirelessly throughout this pandemic to provide quality care for the residents, and they will continue to do so in the months ahead. 

“Meanwhile, we continue to work closely with our partners in the local Health and Social Care Partnership, Health Protection Scotland and the Care Inspectorate.”

In 2018, a care assistant at Golfhill care home was convicted of behaving in a threatening or abusive manner after telling a colleague “let’s drown the b***h” as they bathed an elderly resident.

Annamaria McPadden, 36, said she “wished the straps would snap” on the hoist 63-year-old Janette Griffin was being moved into a bath with.

While working with the vulnerable resident, McPadden said she “couldn’t take to” the pensioner.

McPadden, from Tollcross, Glasgow, was served with a community payback order.