High level of care at Barra care home recognised in inspection report

St Brendan’s Care Home in Castlebay, Isle of Barra, has been given a top rating of ‘very good’ by the Care Inspectorate for the level of ‘compassion, dignity and respect’ residents receive at the home.

In a report on an unannounced inspection of the home conducted last November, and reported this week, the Care Inspectorate said that the home, run by Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, also rated as ‘good’ in all other areas assessed in the inspection in terms of residents’ well-being and the planning of care and support.

Residents of the home and their relatives also praised the home’s staff and the standard of food provided in comments made to inspectors.

The report stated that residents benefitted “from good and robust healthcare and medication management”, and recognised that ‘external professionals’ who were regularly involved with the service gave inspectors “very good feedback” and praised staff for being “very competent and pro-active when managing people’s healthcare needs”.

End of life care at the home was also praised in the Care Inspectorate report, which said that people were supported “to experience a very good standard of end of life care”.

“People’s choices about their care towards and at the end of their life”, the report states, “was well captured in the newly introduced care planning system”.

The report concluded: “The service was very skilled in enabling people and their families to experience very good and dignified care at end of life, in line with, and respectful of the island’s traditions.”

The Care Inspectorate did identify one formal ‘area of improvement’ for the service, stating that the service “should ensure that personal outcomes and care plans are meaningfully evaluated on a regular basis”, and stated: “Evaluations and reviews of the personal plans should meaningfully measure if and how the formulated personal outcome is achieved.”

Although not identified as a formal ‘area of improvement’ by the Care Inspectorate, the report also notes that more staff hours “dedicated to activity provision” would be “beneficial for the residents”.

The Care Inspectorate report states that as this was already a part of the service’s action plan it has not been identified as an area for improvement, but has been discussed with managers and the CI has asked them to ensure “that it remained part of the action plan until it was achieved”.

A spokesperson for Comhairle nan Eilean Siar said: “Health and Social Care are very pleased with the outcome of this latest inspection report for St Brendan’s Care Home.

“The positive feedback received and captured in the inspection report from residents, relatives and visiting professionals was particularly encouraging.

“The report also highlights the great efforts the staff go to to ensure they know each resident individually, that the relationships between staff and residents is nurturing and that outcomes for services users were enhanced because of this.

“The report explains how staff respond to residents’ needs with kindness and skill. St Brendan’s Care Home is very much part of the community and supporting residents to access the wider community as and when they are able to is very much part of the ethos of the care home.

“This contributes to residents’ sense of belonging and connectedness to their community, as highlighted in the inspection report.

“The two areas identified requiring further development are increasing residents’ physical activity levels and ensuring a more robust reviewing system is in place. The service has already begun looking at ways of addressing these two areas for further development.”