Care home where residents have ‘nothing to do’ criticised by inspectors

A Borders residential care home where residents are ‘bored’ and have ‘nothing to do’ has been criticised by government inspectors.
Bonchester Bridge Care Centre.Bonchester Bridge Care Centre.
Bonchester Bridge Care Centre.

The Care Inspectorate paid an unannounced visit to Bonchester Bridge Care Centre near Hawick late in January.

The centre is part of the Wolverhampton-based St Philips Care Group and accommodates 24 older people in a country setting.

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As part of the visit inspectors spoke to residents, their families and friends, staff and other health professionals.

After the visit the inspectors rated the centre weak in all five categories – leadership, the staff team, the setting, supporting well-being and the quality of care and support.

As a result of the visit the centre is required to make a number of improvements by March 10.

St Philips Care Group has responded by saying staff are working with agencies to address issues and was “confident we will soon be back to the standards that we aspire to achieve”.

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Inspectors found that care concerns were not always followed up, which “put people’s health, safety and well-being at risk”, some residents did not receive medication as required, there was a lack of engagement from staff at mealtimes and few activities were made available to residents, which, the report says “led to many people not being able to pass their time in a meaningful way. More than one person using the service told us ‘I am bored’. One person stated, ‘it is amazing how fast the weeks go considering we have nothing to do’.”

The inspectors found that staff were too busy to spend time supporting people with activities out-with their care duties.

“As a result, people’s opportunities for meaningful engagement, access and connection to the community and independence were limited”, the report adds.

It was found that an issue with the heating system also posed a ‘significant risk’.

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The report says: “Significant works had been undertaken in relation to upgrading the homes heating system. On inspection of rooms and corridors we found exposed piping at ground and waist level. Pipes were hot and posed significant risk to people using the service.”

Additionally, large areas of the home were in urgent need of refurbishment and decoration.

The report did find the home was clean and tidy and that staff built positive relationships with people they supported, but concluded that “some strengths were compromised by significant weaknesses”.

A spokesperson for the St Philips Care Group said: “We have been working in close partnership with the Scottish Borders agencies throughout this period and the positive comments made in the report reflect this. We now have a dedicated staff group at the home who have and will continue to work tirelessly to support their residents and will receive the necessary support from our organisation to ensure that our residents achieve the best outcome.

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“The environment is in the process of being uplifted to a good standard, there has been a new £40k heating system installed, and the concern was due to the pipework being hot – this is now being boxed in. Therefore, we at St Philips believe that the home is progressing and are confident that we will soon be back to the standards that we aspire to achieve.”