Care home decor affecting residents quality of life

Friday May 13th 2022


The small care home is in a residential house on Dougall Court, Mayfield.

Written by Local Democracy Reporter, Marie Sharp

A small care home has been ordered to redecorate or find new premises after inspectors raised concerns over ‘tired decor’ and design.

Thera (Scotland) operate the home in Dougall Court, Mayfield, which provides residential care to up to five adults with learning disabilities.

However operators came under fire for not carrying out home improvements with a Care Inspectorate report branding its living space ” functional rather than creating a warm, homely environment”.

Staff at the home were praised by inspectors for their care and commitment to the residents and the work they do.

But while inspectors graded the staff team’s performance as a grade 4 or ‘good’, they could only give support offered and ‘adequate’ grade 3 because they said however hard staff tried to keep the home clean the decor was such that it was difficult to do.

They gave the setting a ‘weak’ grade 2, ordering the home to come up with an action plan to tackle the failings in the property by June 12.

And they warned: “Should it be concluded from the action plan that the accommodation was not fit for purpose, then alternative accommodation options must be explored.”

A spokesperson for Thera (Scotland) said it had been looking for new premises but had been unsuccessful.

They said: “It has been recognised for some time that the property does not meet the needs of the individuals. As a result, we have been looking for suitable alternative housing, but to date, none has been found.

“In the meantime, a plan of refurbishment has been designed, but it has been disrupted due to Covid restrictions.

“We are working with the people we support, their families, staff, local authorities and other key stakeholders.”

Criticising the state of the home, following a short notice visit earlier this month, the inspectors said: “Over the past few years, we have become increasingly concerned about how tired the décor was looking and how the layout of the home would continue to meet peoples’ needs as they become older and frailer.

“We concluded at this inspection that as people have become older and their mobility needs are slowly increasing, the design and layout of the building has a negative impact on the quality of life for the people who live there.

“Living space was functional rather than creating a warm, homely environment to meet people’s needs and preferences. There was a lack of attention to standards such as homely touches, decoration, and the quality
of furniture.”

The inspectors report gives the home until August to carry out work including laying new carpets, improving the decor to create a warm and friendly living environment, ensuring the decor can be effectively cleaned and that essential repairs and redecoration are logged and carried out within timescales.

Morag Barrow, Joint Director of the Midlothian Health and Social Care Partnership said the partnership is working with the home operators to improve the facility.

She said: “We’re working with this third sector voluntary provider and the Care Inspectorate to address the issues highlighted in the inspection report, including the layout and décor of the care home, to make sure residents enjoy a good standard of care and quality of life.”

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