Peeblesshire care home ordered to improve again in damning report

A PEEBLESSHIRE care home previously threatened with closure has been heavily criticised by inspectors.

Jane Brown of the Care Inspectorate (CI) labelled Whim Hall near West Linton as weak across four categories following a two-day unannounced visit in October.

Among the series of improvements raised by the report was a failure by owners Guardian Care Homes to tell the CI about substantial building work which will vary the type of care and support provided.

The report also noted that, at the time of the inspection, the 44-bed home had failed to act on all the recommendations made by a Mental Welfare Commission report in February 2012.

Back in November 2009, the home, which looks after 29 elderly patients and people with mental health issues, had faced having its registration removed due to continued poor inspection ratings.

Five subsequent visits in the last three years found conditions had improved considerably, until last October’s damning report.

Ms Brown’s rating of Whim Hall is the second lowest grade out of six, which range from unsatisfactory to excellent.

Quality of care and support, environment, staffing and management and leadership were all given the weak rating.

On care and support, boredom was a major problem.

Ms Brown wrote: “We saw one resident, who was cared for in their room most of the time, had received no activities input since July 2012.

“This resident was observed to be in bed all day with the radio on.

“Staff were present with this resident to carry out daily living tasks, but we did not observe staff spending time with this resident or chatting with them.

“This was a particular concern at this time given that the lift was out of order and the resident appeared isolated from other residents.”

Two residents also told the CI team that there was no public transport, with opportunities for outings limited.

There had been instances of residents mistakenly entering other bedrooms, with personal belongings going missing.

And concerns were raised after residents did not bath or shower in some weeks without a reason being given.

The report added: “We noted one resident had been admitted from a specialist addiction service.

“There was no evidence that Whim Hall had assessed how it might provide for this resident’s care and support needs.”

On the issue of environment, Ms Brown’s team heard complaints in both units of the home.

She wrote: “We were shown one resident’s bedroom in Whim (unit). The resident told us the room was very cold and they were waiting for their radiator to be fixed.

“The resident was provided with an extra duvet for warmth whilst in bed but this was noticeably thin in quality.

“In the same bedroom, there was fly paper hanging on the inside of the window frame which was covered in dead flies.”

On staffing, Ms Brown said workers told her they had not received appraisals.

And in terms of management, there was no evidence of risk assessments being carried out for major works to create eight places for adults with addiction problems, with the home having also failed to approach the CI to apply for a variation of its current registration.

However, Ms Brown noted that since the inspection, the care provider had taken steps to notify the CI of the proposed changes.

The inspector did praise the staff who interacted well with service users and that “some efforts” had been made to seek resident feedback on the quality of food and social activities.

She also wrote that staff received regular supervision and had access to some training.