A ban on the use of fans in care homes in Scotland has been reversed following a challenge by Barchester Healthcare.
The about turn came after Barchester challenge the ruling after inspectors said its Drummond Grange Nursing Home in Lasswade was breaching Infection Prevention Control (IPC) guidelines.
Guidelines published by Public Health Scotland state: “In the situation that a resident in their own private room still feels too warm after the heating has been turned off and the windows have been opened, then a fan may be used provided the fan is clean, directed away from the door and well maintained. In an outbreak situation or if the resident is on a high risk pathway, fans are permitted in a resident’s own room but windows should remain open when in use.”
The use of fans in communal areas is only permitted following a thorough risk assessment and during exceptionally warm weather and should not be used in care homes with COVID-19 cases or any other infectious pathogen.
A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “During the summer, if a resident feels too hot when in their room and other measures have been taken, a fan can be used in the resident’s room with the window open. In communal areas staff should first look to cool residents by opening windows and doors and may resort to the use of a fan, following a risk assessment. A fan should not be used should anyone at the home test positive for COVID-19 or any other infectious pathogen.”
A Barchester spokesperson commented: “Following a robust risk assessment and discussions with Health Protection Scotland, the policy regarding the use of fans in Scottish care homes is now aligned with English guidance and fans are permitted. During the summer, if a resident feels too hot when in their room and other measures have been taken, such as a window being opened, a fan can be provided. In communal areas staff will first look to cool residents by opening windows and doors before resorting to the use of a fan. A fan will not be used should anyone at the home test positive for COVID-19.”