Support services ranked ‘excellent’ by watchdog

Two Borders support services have received the highest grade possible from the Care Inspectorate.

Borders Supported Living Service, run by mental health charity Penumbra, provides flexible and responsive housing support to people in challenging situations, primarily those experiencing mental health difficulties.

The service also works in the community, offering peer support and raising awareness of mental health.

The Care Inspectorate – the body responsible for monitoring social care services in Scotland – conducted an unannounced inspection of the service at the end of August and published its final report last week (September 9).

The report graded the care and support provided as “Excellent” – the highest rating possible.

Of the 17 housing support services operating in the Borders, Borders Supported Living Service is one of only two which has achieved this top grade for quality of support – the other was Together Borders in Galashiels, run by Brothers of Charity.

The glowing report described staff as “well-trained” and “highly regarded by the people who they supported”. It adds that the “service was working to an excellent standard in terms of providing person-centred support that respected the rights of supported people and supported them to make choices in their life.”

Speaking about the inspection and report, support manager Alex McKie said: “We have a dedicated workforce that work really hard to provide the best support possible for people in the local community.

“I am absolutely thrilled that their effort has paid off with such a fantastic report from the Care Inspectorate.

“To be judged excellent is a massive achievement and it is really heart-warming to see so many positive comments in the report from people we support.”

The Care Inspectorate scores all housing support services in Scotland between 1 (unsatisfactory) and 6 (excellent) in three areas – Quality of Care and Support, Quality of Staffing, and Quality of Management and Leadership.

The most recent inspection rated the service 6 for Quality of Care and Support, 6 for Quality of Management and Leadership, and 5 for Quality of Staffing.

Since 2009, Borders Supported Living Service has been graded either 5 or 6 in all three areas.