‘Lack of respect and dignity’ at Galashiels care home

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A BORDERS care home has been criticised by the Care Inspectorate for failing to treat residents with respect and dignity and having inadequate staffing levels.

An inspector also found that residents of Galashiels Nursing Home were left unattended in the lounge area, causing distress for some, and that staff sometimes took so long to respond to calls for assistance that the residents experienced “poor outcome”.

Inspector Jane Brown rated the Kirkbrae home as “adequate” in three areas and “weak” in one, following three visits at the end of last 

She made 10 requirements and four recommendations for improvements, with some to be made by the nursing home within 24 hours.

In addition to there not being enough staff to cope, Ms Brown reported that some staff were working as senior carers despite not having the right qualifications.

In discussions with residents, Ms Brown found that one had resorted to buying their own pillow because those provided by the care home were lumpy, and several complained of a lack of staff in the nursing home.

A relative also reported to Ms Brown that they visited regularly and always ended up having to feed their family member lunch due to the lack of staff available.

This was backed up by comments from employees, who said that they sometimes had to help more than one resident at a time during meals.

In her report, made public on Friday, Ms Brown stated: “We noted some verbal interactions between staff and residents which suggested a lack of respect and dignity being afforded to those residents.”

She added: “We saw a hand written sign in a resident’s bedroom, the language and tone of which we found to be disrespectful to the resident.”

Despite the numerous areas requiring improvement, Ms Brown found that the staff were “committed to the care and well-being of residents” and that they in turn felt safe and well looked after.

Charles Ingram, director of Pryce & Co, which runs Galashiels Nursing Home, was unavailable for comment, and the manager of the home refused to comment on the inspector’s report when contacted by TheSouthern.

During her unannounced inspections, Ms Brown discovered that care plans had not been updated in some cases and that a number of residents were left sitting in wheelchairs, one even still in a hoist sling, having not been given the choice to sit on a proper chair.

She also reported that handovers between shifts were sometimes not carried out due to a lack of time and the failure to have a formal handover period built into the shift 

Commenting on the nursing home’s progress on six requirements and eight recommendations from an inspection in August last year, Ms Brown added: “It was evident that minimal progress had been made in meeting the requirements and recommendations from the previous inspection with respect to quality of care and support and staffing.”

Galashiels Nursing Home provides nursing and residential care for up to 37 residents, with 34 there at the time of the inspection.