An inspector has told the council to invest in improvements to Waverley Care Home in Galashiels, despite plans being in place for major changes.
Following an unnannounced visit, Lesley Smith from the Care Inspectorate rated the quality of environment at the home ‘weak’.
In her report she said: “The environmental layout in Waverley cannot meet the needs of a small number of residents in terms of personal care.
“There are other, existing environmental difficulties and long term maintenance/decoration issues to be addressed. The Intermediate Care Unit also needs to be reviewed in terms of fitness for purpose.”
The council has already agreed to transform Waverley into a 24-bed short-term/rehabilitation unit. This will provide a mix of short break/respite spaces, intermediate care and assessment beds.
The £200,000-plus scheme will avoid a £2m bill for carrying out the necessary building work to keep the home for long-term residents.
However, Ms Smith said that despite the council agreeing that long term residents will not be forced out, it has failed to make sure their needs are being met in the interim.
In particular, she highlighted problems with bathroom facilities, stating: “We specifically considered the bathroom and shower facilities to be limited and to fail to meet the needs and choices of all residents.
“We understood that one resident was unable to safely use either the shower or bath. This meant the resident could only be washed. Other residents could only use one or other of the bathing options, which may not necessarily be their option of choice.”
A spokesperson for the council told The Southern: “The inspection report is very positive about the care and support provided to residents in Waverley Care Home.
“The council has recognised that the environment does not meet Care Inspectorate standards and money has been identified in the council’s capital programme to upgrade key areas of the home, including personal care facilities.”
He added: “The intention of the council is to refocus the home into short stay provision moving forward and there has been ongoing discussions with residents, relatives and staff about these proposals.”