New bungalows for Mountview residents

New bungalows in progress, Station Road
New bungalows in progress, Station Road

Residents from Mountview residential home, Duns, are due to move into new three and four bedroom bungalows in Station Drive this summer.

The adults with learning difficulties and complex health needs will continue to be supported by the Streets Ahead organisation but financial responsibility for their care has been passed over from NHS Borders to Scottish Borders Council. The reason for this is that the residents require predominantly social care and both NHS Borders and SBC agreed that a supported living model was more appropriate for them than a residential care home.

NHS Borders Mountview funding of £425,000 is being transferred to SBC, after the council’s executive committee agreed the transfer last week.

Councillors at last week’s meeting were told: “The cost of providing the new service is greater than the current service provision. This is due to economies of scale in the staffing levels required for a supported living model across two bungalows.”

The cost of the supported living model at Mountview bungalows is £559,036 compared with the £533,486 cost of looking after them at Mountview, the difference being up from the council’s supporting adults with learning disabilities budget.

A Care Inspectorate report in August 2014, graded Mountview’s quality of care and support, environment and staffing as ‘very good’ and the quality of management and leadership as ‘good’.

It is quite a turnaround from 2012 when inspectors found Mountview ‘unsatisfactory’ and a major investigation carried out by NHS Borders and SBC identified a number of “serious concerns”.

Concerns included a resident being restrained in a wheelchair because staff were too busy; residents left unattended and unoccupied; residents’ money used to buy equipment the service provider was supposed to purchase; a resident not receiving their money for almost 12 months; the provider assuming responsibility for managing and spending the personal funds of some people without the necessary legislative controls in place; and staffing issues.

Care Inspectorate inspectors added: “Immediate action is required by the provider in order to safeguard the health, welfare and safety of the people who use the service.”

Since then inspectors have visited a further three times and on their latest visit in August 2014 they concluded: “The service is now being managed proactively, with good support to the staff team, increased training and more stimulation to the service users staying in this setting.

“Many things have been put in place to ensure that the service is being managed appropriately, that staff are being supported effectively and that service users’ care plans reflect their needs.”

Councillor Frances Renton, executive member for social work and housing said: “I am delighted that this transfer of funds has been agreed by NHS Borders and the council and that we can move ahead with the creation of a supported living scheme at Mountview.

“This model of care is more suitable and meets the needs of Mountview residents.”

Berwickshire Housing Association who own Mountview have applied to the Scottish Government for consent to sell off the building.