Staffing concerns for 
improved care home

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DESPITE improved standards, inspectors have raised concerns with staffing levels at a Bonchester Bridge care home, writes Kenny Paterson.

While Bonchester Bridge Care Centre raised its ratings from previous Care Inspectorate reports, it was criticised for its lack of staff numbers to deal with its 17 residents during a December visit.

Inspector Dave Hutchinson wrote: “We have continued concerns about staffing levels in the care home.

“These have been made more apparent due to the increased numbers of residents living in the care home.”

Overall, the care centre was judged to be adequate in three areas – care and support, environment and staffing – while rated good in management and leadership.

This was an improvement on a CI visit in January 2012, in which it was rated as weak – the second lowest ranking – in three key areas.

Mr Hutchinson said the medication practice within the centre, which is a converted country house, had improved since the last inspection and reported that the building was clean and tidy.

But he added: “We identified the need for improved recording where residents had been identified as in need of additional support to remain hydrated.

“We identified areas of the physical environment which need to be improved on. These include the flooring in the first floor corridor and in the dining room.

“The staffing section of the report highlights the need for improved regularity in one-to-one supervision provided to staff.”

Mr Hutchinson concluded: “We found a pleasant, homely atmosphere in the care home which was also commented on by residents and their friends and relatives.

“We found a committed staff team on the day of the visit who commented positively on the managerial support they received.”

The improvements will be a boost to service provider Guardian Care Homes, whose Whim Hall service near West Linton received a damning report last month.

Meanwhile, Deanfield Day Centre in Hawick saw a dip in performance following a January visit from Mr Hutchinson’s team.

The Scottish Borders Council-run service for older people was marked as good in three key areas, and was rated as adequate in quality of environment.

In previous inspections it was named very good in care and support, staffing and quality of management.

Mr Hutchinson said improvements were needed to the toilet access and decor, but said service users were positive about Deanfield.