Covid-hit Loanhead care home to be closed for good

A private nursing home where more than half the residents died after contracting Covid-19 will not reopen under the guidance of the local authority, health chiefs have said.

Tuesday, 16th February 2021, 12:06 pm
Updated Tuesday, 16th February 2021, 12:10 pm
Thornlea Nursing Home in Loanhead was closed in December over safety fears. Photo: Lisa Ferguson.
Thornlea Nursing Home in Loanhead was closed in December over safety fears. Photo: Lisa Ferguson.

Thornlea Nursing Home in Loanhead closed on January 18 after its remaining residents had been moved to alternative accommodation by Midlothian Health and Social Care Partnership.

The privately run home had its registration suspended at Edinburgh Sheriff Court after the Care Inspectorate applied for its removal.

At a court hearing in December, it was revealed that 15 of the home’s 29 residents had died following an outbreak of the virus. An inspection report into the care home has still to be published; however, at a meeting of Midlothian Integration Joint Board last week, it was revealed that health and social care partnership nurses first raised the alarm.

Morag Barrow, board chief officer, said that the care home team, which monitors all facilities in the county, called in the Care Inspectorate: “The care home support team went in and noticed significant issues to do with the care home but were not able to get the progress they pushed for and that is when the Care Inspectorate became involved.”

Ms Barrows was asked about the future of the home, which she said was no longer a “going concern”.

But she said: “It is not one we are willing to take on, it is not fit for purpose and the layout is not good.”

Despite the loss of 31 care beds from the closure, she said the partnership had been able to cope due to increased work on community services allowing more elderly people to stay in their homes.

She said: “We have seen less of a demand for care home beds because we are able to bring more people home and support them there.”

The Care Inspectorate said that the findings of its investigation into Thornlea Nursing Home would be published in “due course”.