South Scotland

Duns care service for vulnerable is heavily criticised

Carer pushing wheelchair Image copyright Thinkstock

A care service for vulnerable people in the Borders has been heavily criticised by inspectors.

The Care Inspectorate said that failings of Community Integrated Care (CIC) could be "life threatening".

It found that clients missed out on vital visits as a result of staffing problems at its office in Duns.

It also discovered that in some cases carers were not aware of the needs of individual service users.

CIC provides housing support and care at home for people living Berwickshire with mental and physical disabilities.

People who needed help with medication or preparing a meal were among those who missed visits, it found.

The report stated: "Due to lack of information for the support staff, we heard of many examples where staff arrive at a service user's home to support them, not knowing what care and support that person required."

'Distress and anxiety'

It added: "Missed and late visits, staff not being aware of individual's care needs and inconsistency in care staff has the potential to result in service user's health and wellbeing needs not being met.

"At worst this could be life threatening for vulnerable service users, at least it causes distress and anxiety."

Inspectors initially demanded improvements from CIC last September, following a highly critical report.

They returned in January to find the problems had increased.

Of seven aspects of the service they inspected, four were found to be "unsatisfactory". The rest were "adequate".

The report said the service has received two formal complaints since the earlier report.

The Care Inspectorate has also received complaints from service users and carers regarding missed visits.

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