A MAJOR refurbishment project at a Galashiels care home has run into trouble after inspectors found a catalogue of problems.

Contractors are due to complete the overhaul of Waverley Care Home next month.

But the project's managers were forced back to the drawing board after faulty furniture and fittings were identified.

Staff from the Care Inspectorate descended on the Elm Row care facility last month to carry out an unannounced inspection.

While they were content with the levels of staffing, management and care at the facility they were far from impressed with the refurbishment.

A spokesperson for the Care Inspectorate stated: "Problems were identified with new furniture provided in bedrooms.

"Wardrobes, bedside cabinets and chests of drawers were on castors and in certain positions a service user leaning against or reaching out to steady themselves on an item of furniture could find themselves falling.

"Wardrobes were not secured to walls and could, if pulled, topple onto a resident.

"All these items of furniture had extremely sharp corner points which would increase the risk of laceration injury if a resident fell against it.

"The floor covering in one bedroom had started to bubble, creating a trip hazard - this had been reported as part of the snagging process."

The inspectors also found further problems in the 16 bedrooms including risky gaps between beds and walls, and electric sockets placed next to pillows.

The list of dodgy designs wasn't restricted to the bedrooms with problems identified in the newly created en-suite bathrooms, including broken hand rails and exposed hot water pipes, and further furniture woes in the main communal areas.

The spokesperson added: "In some of the en-suites, vertical hot water pipes running for most of the height of the room were in place. A service user falling against a pipe could receive a burn.

"Toilet roll holders were not provided which meant people using the toilet independently needed to improvise. We were told about one service user who left the toilet roll on the floor in front of the toilet and risked falling trying to reach it.

"New chairs provided in upstairs lounges were reported as slipping back when people sat down and walls were already marked by impact damage.

"Staff reported these chairs were too low for many service users and alternative chairs had been provided for some individuals.

"The service provider has invested in a major refurbishment which has improved the physical environment however a number of health and safety concerns came to light during the inspection which need to be addressed as a matter of urgency."

Waverley Care Home is now used as transitional unit for the elderly who have just left hospital and are not yet able to return to their own homes.

Since the inspection SB Cares, who operate the unit, have replaced some of the identified furniture and corrected other faults.

A spokeswoman told us: "The inspection took place towards the end of a major refurbishment of the premises.

"We were at that time working with contractors and suppliers on a number of snagging and design issues, many of which have since been resolved. "This includes concerns regarding some items of furniture and fittings with remedial action having now been taken and replacement furniture purchased.

"There are a small number of issues that remain outstanding and we are working to resolve these as a matter of priority.

“The Inspector also acknowledged that the refurbishment represents a significant investment in Waverley which has certainly improved the physical environment and they would consider re-grading the service once the works are complete, an offer we will be happy to support.”

Although the inspection was overshadowed by the refurbishment problems, the Care Inspectorate returned gradings of 'Good' and 'Very Good' for the standard of care, staff and management.

The SB Cares spokeswoman added: “We are delighted that the Care Inspectorate report for Waverley Care Home was overall very positive, with ‘Good’ gradings for both Quality of Care and Support and Quality of Management and Leadership, and the grading for Quality of Staffing increasing to ‘Very Good’.

"Our thanks go to our staff for their ongoing commitment to continuous improvement and providing high quality care and support for residents and their families."