Campaigners vow to restart care service in Scottish Borders after damning report

Five members of staff, including the then-manager, were disciplined over failings. Credit: Google Maps

An urgent action plan has been launched after a health watchdog's damning report on a Berwickshire care home where eight residents died from Covid-19.

In May and June 2020, eight elderly residents at Saltgreens in Eyemouth died from the virus.

Five members of staff, including the then manager, were also later disciplined over alleged lockdown breaches, and inspectors issued a list of required improvements to be made.

Scottish Borders Council, the facility's operator, was presented with two highly critical reports from the Care Inspectorate in August last year over how the home was being run.

But now further action needs to be taken urgently after government inspectors paid a return visit to the Chapel Street facility, which houses 35 residents, last month.

It was found that none of six improvements suggested after previous inspections had been completed and also discovered additional issues related to staff and the care offered to residents.

The report scores the home "weak" for staffing and for meeting its residents wellbeing needs and states that "improvements must be made to ensure people are supported to get the most out of life".

The report concludes: "Feedback we received from supported people, relatives and staff expressed concerns about staffing levels".

In addition to the eight deaths at the care home in 2000, 16 other residents and staff members became ill with the virus.

A spokesperson for Scottish Borders Council said: "We can confirm that an action plan has been developed as a matter of urgency.

"The adult social care senior management team is working closely with the Saltgreens staff team on the plan as well as undertaking ongoing and robust monitoring to ensure that the requirements and the areas for improvement identified in the report are met within the agreed time frames.

"We would like to reassure residents and family carers that we are fully committed to working with managers to improve the service being provided at Saltgreens."

Inspectors are due to return to the Eyemouth care complex next month.