A care provider which is contracted by the council to work in Selkirk providing home visits has been slammed by the Care Inspectorate.
Two of the watchdog’s inspectors carried out three visits at Galashiels-based ILS Borders, uncovering a range of issues and hearing of concerns from relatives of service users.
These included reports of a soiled bed going unchanged, missed visits and concerns about medication being given out without the necessary time gap between doses.
Inspectors Dave Hutchinson and Jane Brown called the number of missed visits ‘unacceptable’ and made six requirements and four recommendations for improvements in their report, which has only just been published following the May inspection .
They said: “Missed visits can result in people not having access to medication, food or drink, and may mean people are unable to maintain personal hygiene.”
Mr Hutchinson and Ms Brown heard from relatives that male staff had been sent to care for a woman when this had specifically been requested not to happen.
The pair were also told that some staff failed to wear protective gloves and that some appeared not to know how to operate equipment.
Another family member said their relative was ‘petrified’ of strangers coming into their home, yet ILS sometimes sent staff they did not know.
Despite the concerns, the inspectors found that where care was provided by a consistent, small team of staff, service users were positive about the quality of support received.
However, the inspectors graded the service ‘weak’ in three areas.
An ILS (Scotland) spokesperson said: “We have been working with the Care Inspectorate and with Scottish Borders Council to deliver the best possible services in the Borders for those people we look after in their own homes.
“As well as our enhanced staff team appointed in the Borders office, we have also introduced electronic call monitoring and in the last month we haven’t reported any missed calls.”
A council spokesman added that SBC was ‘working closely’ with the firm’s senior management to ‘address issues of quality and compliance’ and on an agreed action plan.