Majority of Borders care homes graded good to excellent

Queen's House care home in Kelso is graded 'excellent' by the Care Inspectorate
Queen's House care home in Kelso is graded 'excellent' by the Care Inspectorate

There has been a marked improvement in Care Inspectorate gradings for Borders care homes over the past two years.

A report that went before Scottish Borders Council’s executive this week revealed that 75% of the region’s homes were graded from good up to excellent and councillors acknowledged that while good progress had been made there was still room for improvement.

Care Inspectorate reports in 2014 placed 11 Borders care homes in the ‘weak category’ and 25 were classed as ‘adequate’. After SBC introduced its new regime the impact became clear when homes were inspected in 2016: the number classed as ‘weak’ had dropped to three and the number of homes considered ‘adequate’ reduced to 16.

Even better news is the number of Borders care homes now classed as ‘very good’ which has jumped from seven in 2014 to 21, two years later.

In 2014 a member/officer working group was set up to research evidence of best practice and consider proposals for improvement.

It was recognised that there were effective processes in place to monitor, advise and support homes when difficulties were identified. However, councillors wanted to be more pro-active in maintaining and improving the quality of the service for some of the most vulnerable members of society.

The positive shift in Care Inspectorate grade has been the result of an action plan introduced by the council following the work done since 2014.

Over the past three years bespoke care home training has been delivered to more than 500 care home staff.

A team of community care review link officers has been working more closely with care home managers and staff, and potential issues are highlighted much quicker and action taken to resolve the situation.