SOME staff at a home care service based in Galashiels “don’t have a clue what they are doing”, inspectors have been informed.

The Homecare West Support Service provided by Scottish Borders Council (SBC) has been rated ‘weak’ for supporting people’s well-being and receives the same rating for the planning of care and support.

The service, based from council offices in Paton Street, Galashiels, supports adults, including older people, living in their own homes and in the community.

It operates across the west of the Borders, including Galashiels, St Boswells, Lauder, Selkirk and Peebles.

Two representatives of the Care Inspectorate paid an unannounced visit to the service on July 5, visiting its offices in Galashiels and Peebles, speaking to supported people, staff and management.

The report found that people experiencing care “could not be confident their care and support needs would be met by staff they knew” and that people “did not know who would be visiting them prior to the visit”.

It was concluded that the scheduling of care visits “was negatively impacting on supported people’s experience of care at home”.

The report says: “People experiencing care told us they were treated with dignity and respect. However, a number of people we spoke with told us they were unhappy with the care they were receiving. One person told us, ‘Some of the carers don’t have a clue what they are doing’.”

The inspectors found that support plans were not up to date and contained “inconsistent and/or insufficient information”.

The report adds: “At times unfamiliar staff asked supported people what they should do. ‘They have to ask what to do – it’s annoying’. People told us how exhausting it was repeatedly having to tell staff what they should be doing.”

The service received ‘adequate’ ratings for its leadership and staff team.

The Care Inspectorate has told the provider to carry out the necessary improvements by November 30.

In response an SBC spokesperson said the management team was now developing a “robust action plan” to address the improvement areas identified in the inspection report.

“Following the outcome of the recent inspection of the Home Care West Service, we can confirm that a full and robust action plan has been developed to address the issues raised by the Care Inspectorate,” they said.

“The adult social care senior management team is already working closely with the service on implementing the plan, with ongoing monitoring also in place to ensure that the requirements and areas for improvement are met within agreed time-frames as agreed by the Inspectors.

“It was encouraging to see that service users reported they were treated with dignity and respect, and that staff were very helpful, kind and cheerful.

“However, in those areas where it was identified that standards need to improve, we are fully committed to taking the learning from the inspection and working closely with managers to improve not only Care Inspectorate grades, but the overall quality of care and support which our service users receive on an ongoing basis.”