Hawick care home stops admissions

St Andrews Care Home in Hawick.
St Andrews Care Home in Hawick.

A Hawick care home suspended taking new residents pending improvements highlighted by a Care Inspectorate report.

The watchdog made a surprise visit to St Andrews Care Home in Stirches, owned by Bradford-based Park Homes, on September 5.

The Care Inspectorate (CI) confirmed: “During the inspection the care home agreed that they should suspend new admissions until any issues found at the inspection had been addressed. Our findings will be included in the full inspection report which will be published on the Care Inspectorate website shortly.”

The CI plans another unannounced visit to check.

Scottish Borders Council said: “The care home has voluntarily placed a moratorium on admissions to the home, but the home is not closed.

“A full risk assessment has been undertaken through our quality assurance protocol and we will continue to monitor the home closely through regular meetings with Park Homes.”

The troubled care home’s senior management is also accused of short-changing employees.

Dominic Allen of the GMB trade union told us: “There is an ongoing issue with staff receiving short pay.”

He revealed four staff had raised tribunals about an April contract change, resulting, they argue, in lost pay.

He said: “It’s a sizeable whack because these people are on close to minimum wage. A lot of them are women with family commitments. If they don’t get the correct pay, it affects their family.”

A letter sent by an employee to The Southern’s sister paper, The Hawick News, claims after two months of shifts: “I worked 74 hours and only got paid for 12. I’ve been to my local MSP, and Citizens Advice Bureau, and have had difficulty resolving this issue.”

MSP Paul Wheelhouse MSP added: “I understand there’s a lot of concern that goes beyond those four. I’m meeting with staff next week.”

As we went to press, Park Homes’ Jason Sykes responded: “We have worked very hard on a recruitment drive and we are in a position to remove our voluntary hold on new admissions.”