Damning home care reports

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Two home care providers in Midlothian have received damning reports by the Care Inspectorate, one of them threatened with closure.

Ardmore Home Care, which provides 764 hours to 104 people in Midlothian, received the lowest possible grade, “unsatisfactory” (1) for quality of care and support, and for quality of management and leadership. For the third performance indicator, quality of staffing, it was declared weak (2).

Following this inspection in April, Ardmore was threatened with closure if it does not improve by July 29.

Aspire East, which provides outreach and care-at-home services to 290 people in Midlothian, received one “weak” (2) and two “adequate” (3) grades following an inspection in January.

A Midlothian Council spokesperson said: “We are aware of the concerns and we are working closely with 
Ardmore and Aspire to ensure that we see the required improvements and safe service delivery.

“Quality Assurance staff are monitoring the work of the providers and engaging closely with users and their families.”

Bernadette Walsh, chief operating officer of Mears Care, which owns Ardmore, said: “We apologise to our customers. We are doing everything we can to improve the service. Since the inspection we have made a number of changes, including the introduction of additional experienced managers to supervise services, given intensive training to all staff and introduced new ways of monitoring customer visits.

“We will continue to make changes and are working closely with Midlothian Council and Midlothian Quality Assurance to help us to drive the improvements.”

Aspire’s chief executive Peter Millar said: “Over many years in Midlothian, Aspire have achieved ‘excellent’, ‘good’ and ‘very good’ grades from the Care Inspectorate.

“However, the organisation has had many issues to deal with over the past year following the transition into a new service contract which was described by Midlothian Council within the Care Inspectorate report as being “really arduous for all providers involved with little or no information being passed between providers and staff who were expected to transfer over and didn’t”.