SIR Gabriel Wood’s Mariners’ Home in Greenock’s West End is to shut. Inspectors found ‘major weaknesses’ at the care facility during an unannounced visit in October.
Alternative accommodation is now being sought for residents. The A-listed premises in Newark Street opened in 1854. The sign on its landmark entrance states: “The Gateway to a Safe Anchorage.” | More about the building’s history
Last month the home was subject of a focused check by the Care Inspectorate and Health Improvement Scotland to see how well those living there were being supported during the covid pandemic.
At that time, 28 people were being cared for at the facility although it is registered to support 35 older people with dementia and 12 adults with brain disorder Korsakoff syndrome.
The inspectors’ report, published on 12 November, states: “We found major weaknesses in critical aspects of performance which required immediate remedial action to improve experiences and outcomes for people.
“We were not assured there was sufficient staff within the service to meet people’s needs in a responsive, safe, or effective way.
“We saw that people had limited opportunities to engage in activities linked to their choices and preferences, and no clear strategy or care planning was in place to guide meaningful occupation; particularly for those who were spending increased amounts of time in their room. This means that those who live in the care service are at increased risk of low mood, depression, anxiety, and stress and distress.”
The report continues: “We evaluated how well infection control practices support a safe environment for people experiencing care and support. We concluded that people’s welfare and safety was compromised by risks which could not be tolerated, and that immediate action was required.”
“We found that several service users’ bedrooms were dirty and contaminated, including the bedrooms of people who were isolating due to Covid-19. Examples of poor practice included mattresses, beds, and seat covers that were heavily contaminated with bodily fluids and mould.”
The home had been given until today to make a number of improvements.
Sara Baade, Sailors’ Society chief executive, said: “With a heavy heart, international maritime welfare charity Sailors’ Society has decided to close the care facilities of Sir Gabriel Wood’s Mariners’ Home in Greenock.
“The decision follows a lengthy review of the care home’s future due to a sharp decline in the number of mariner beneficiaries, coupled with concerns over the resources needed to maintain the standards we set for the home.
“The covid-19 pandemic has placed significant added pressure on the home and its staff, particularly as the health crisis looks set to continue for some time.
“Both the trustees and I would like to wholeheartedly apologise to all the residents and their families involved.
“This is not a decision we have taken lightly, however in the light of coronavirus we are concerned about our ability to maintain the necessary standards of care that every one of our residents deserve.
“We are now working closely with the local health and social care partnership to ensure that every resident has the best alternative accommodation and care provision available and in the meantime will continue to look after everyone in our care.
“We recognise that this will be a very difficult time for the residents and their families and will do everything we can to make the transition as smooth as possible.”
Local MP Ronnie Cowan posted on Twitter: “Disappointed to learn that the Sir Gabriel Wood’s Mariners’ Home in Greenock is closing. Immediate concern are the residents but I know @InverclydeHSCP [Health and Social Care Partnership] are working on this.
“Long term let’s make sure the building is not left to fall into disrepair and burn down in ten years time.”