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Three cases of coronavirus confirmed at Glenisla Care Home in Keith


By Jonathan Clark

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Parklands Care Home - Glenisla Care Home, Banff Road, Keith. ..Picture: Daniel Forsyth..
Parklands Care Home - Glenisla Care Home, Banff Road, Keith. ..Picture: Daniel Forsyth..

THREE cases of coronavirus have been confirmed at Glenisla Care Home in Keith.

Two residents have tested positive for the virus, along with a member of the ancillary support team.

On May 1, the care home announced that a resident had tested positive for covid-19 while in hospital – but, at that stage, there were no confirmed cases inside the home.

At the start of this week, it was announced all staff and residents would be tested for the virus. The home has now confirmed three cases.

A statement from Parklands, which runs the home, said: "Following tests carried out at Glenisla, two residents have tested positive for covid-19.

"Both residents are asymptomatic, in good spirits and are receiving high-quality personalised care from our team while they remain in isolation.

"We are in regular contact with their relatives and facilitating phone and video calls with their loved ones.

"A member of our ancillary support team, who does not work in a care role, has also tested positive for covid-19. She too is asymptomatic and is self-isolating in accordance with medical advice.

"We continue to implement our robust infection prevention and control procedures in line with national guidelines, and other residents are being isolated in their own rooms as a further precaution.

"We intend to press NHS Grampian for further testing in the weeks ahead in order to provide peace of mind to residents, their relatives and our employees."

Parklands Care Home - Glenisla Care Home, Banff Road, Keith. ..Picture: Daniel Forsyth..
Parklands Care Home - Glenisla Care Home, Banff Road, Keith. ..Picture: Daniel Forsyth..

The gap between the first case being announced at Glenisla and testing taking place was around a week and a half.

A letter from Jeane Freeman, SNP cabinet secretary for health and sport, to Jamie Halcro Johnston, conservative list MSP for the Highlands and Islands, said "NHS Grampian indicated that such testing would not be able to take place immediately, due to the need to prioritise other care homes in their territory".

Ms Freeman, however, said "both NHS Grampian and Parklands Group have confirmed there was no suggestion that this was a problem with the availability of testing kits".

Mr Halcro Johnston, however, said the management team at the care home has contradicted those claims.

He said: "It is extremely worrying to learn that there are a further three confirmed cases of covid-19 at Glenisla.

"It has been perfectly obvious for some time that the residents and staff at Glenisla were being put at risk because, following the initial confirmed case, the care home’s appeals for full testing were being ignored.

"I have repeatedly sought assurances from ministers, including from Nicola Sturgeon at first minister’s questions, that the care home’s requests would be acted upon.

"Nicola Sturgeon assured me that she and Jeane Freeman would look into this case, but it took a further six days before testing kits were finally made available to the care home for staff to test residents, nearly two weeks after the initial confirmed case.

"It is utterly unacceptable that it has taken so long for residents and staff to be tested. It’s clear that the testing capacity wasn’t available, and care home management have contradicted Jeane Freeman’s claims to me that there wasn’t a shortage of testing kits.

"Given Nicola Sturgeon’s very public commitment to look into this case, it is remarkable that there wasn’t a greater sense of urgency to test and that resources were not made available immediately to limit the risk of further transmissions.

"I understand that there are still some test results outstanding, and it is vital that these are processed, and secondary testing is conducted, as soon as possible”.

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