MSP Rhoda Grant says Skye care home court case delay continues uncertainty for people living there – and says questions remain unanswered on what caused virus to rampage through the home and nowhere else

Responding to the decision by Inverness Sheriff Court this week to agree to a joint motion for a continuation of the proceedings against Skye’s Home Farm Care Home operator HC-One MSP Rhoda Grant said: “This only continues the uncertainty for the people living there and for their relatives and these people have already been through enough.”

The Labour MSP for the Highlands & Islands said it was encouraging to know care levels have improved since the drafting in of NHS Highland staff to the Portree facility following a coronavirus outbreak, but she said it was “depressing to hear that a further inspection carried out at the home within the last 48 hours raised some issues in relation to the use of PPE and the storage of medicines”. She said it was “unbelievable that fundamental aspects of care are still slipping”.

Rhoda went on: “While waiting for the outcome of this case I have been asking questions in Parliament, and lodging written questions with the Scottish Government, the Care Inspectorate and NHS Highland. I have this week challenged the health secretary to explain why this virus rampaged through Home Farm Care Home and nowhere else in the community. I want to know whether test and trace has uncovered any links and I am awaiting answers.”

She added: “The Scottish Government has been pointing the finger at the private care home sector for failing to adhere to its guidelines but my repeated demands to see the Scottish Government’s protocol for how care homes can manage this pandemic has revealed it has yet to be drawn up. This government has been caught short since the beginning and no one is going to forget that.

“But at the moment the only thing that matters is the welfare of these residents. They have been through enough. They need to be given a bit of security in their own home and whatever form that takes, the level of care has to be up to scratch. I wouldn’t be against NHS Highland taking it over the but they need to remain in their own home and the levels of care that they get has to be improved because even after all of this time there are still issues and those issues need to be sorted These people are entitled to that especially given what they have been through. They have lost friends, in a care home you’re like a big family. They’ll all have been stuck in their rooms in the last three months while all this has been happening. What a terrifying existence. They need to come first.”