Standard of care services in Berwickshire is above average

CARE services in Berwickshire generally provide an above average standard of care for children, the elderly and vulnerable adults.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 31st March 2010, 11:32 am
Updated Wednesday, 31st March 2010, 11:33 am

The Scottish Care Commission has inspected over 11,000 premises across the country over the past year and its findings have been published in a new report called 'Making the Grade?'

The majority of care services in the Borders - care homes, child minders, nurseries and child daycare services, housing support services and nursing support - are providing a good quality of care for people who use care services; only a small minority performing below acceptable standards.

During this first year of grading 273 Borders services (41 in Berwickshire) were visited - 58 of them (21.2%) were awarded grades of 5s (very good) or 6s (excellent), and only one service received grades of 1s (unsatisfactory) and 2s (weak). The gradings scores are for different aspects of care which include: quality of care and support; quality of information/environment; quality of staffing; and quality of management and leadership.

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Within the 3449 inspected services that are providing care for adults, those offering housing support services and support services offering care at home achieved the highest proportion of grades 5 and 6 out of all the care services for adults. In Berwickshire the seven providers all received grades of 4 or 5.

Many care homes for older people received good grades, but inspectors reported that this sector has the most room for improvement with nearly one in ten of services achieving grades of 1s or 2s for quality of care and support. In Berwickshire four homes were inspected - both Mount View at Duns and Lennel House in Coldstream received grade 4, Saltgreens grade 5 and Victoria Lodge, Coldstream received a mix of 2s and 3s (averaging between weak and average).

A total of 6881 children's services in Scotland were graded and, overall, the majority of these services achieved good grades. Around 98% of children's services received grades of 3 or better for quality of care and support, while 88% received grades of 4 or better.

In Berwickshire, Coldstream After School Club was the best performing children's service receiving a mix of 5 and 6 grades for its services and of the ten Berwickshire services graded, six of them had grades of 5, and only one, Chirnside Out of School Club, was given an average grade of 3.

One in three Scottish childminding services - 1395 in total - achieved grades of 5s and 6s across all quality themes, and Berwickshire was right up there with the best of them. All Coldstream childminders received either grades 4 or 5; the two Duns minders scored grade 3 and grade 4, and in Eyemouth four of the nine childminders were given a grade 5, three were graded at 4 and one at grade 3.

Ronnie Hill, director with lead responsibility for inspection activity, said: "The grading system provides people in care and their families with better information - and therefore more choice and involvement - about the standards of care provided at every care service in its local authority.

"It is so important that people who use services and their families understand that they can play a major role in insisting on and driving forward improvements in care standards.

"The Making the Grade? report gives a baseline against which we will be able to compare future grading results. We will be able to check whether the good quality of care provided by most services has been maintained, where the quality of care in Scotland is improving and where further action is needed to ensure that improvement is made.

"Grading gives everyone 'at a glance' information about whether a service is performing well or not.

"It means that good providers are getting the recognition they deserve and those who need to do better are under intense pressure to improve. To get good grades, services have to show that the children and adults who use the services have good outcomes, are well cared for, supported and protected.

"Our approach to scrutiny is more proportionate, risk-based and targeted than ever and we continue to be tough on poor performance."

Five services in the region were awarded grades of all 6s – the highest possible inspection grades.

The Making the Grade report and all inspection reports on individual services, including the grades awarded to them, can be found on the Care Commission website, www.carecommission.com.