Eleven staff suspended from Gorebridge care home

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ELEVEN members of staff have been suspended at a Midlothian old folks’ home.

The move comes after it was found the workers, employed at the council-run Newbyres Village Care Home in Gorebridge, were not registered.

We will continue to monitor this service closely and will report in due course

Care Inspectorate spokesman

The home, which has 60 residents, was rated “weak” on several aspects of its operation in a recent report by the Care Inspectorate.

Midlothian Council insisted the suspension of the 11 staff was not affecting residents.

Newbyres has 80 staff, many of them part-time. It is understood other employees are being asked to do extra shifts to cover for the suspended staff, although the council is also ready to call in agency workers if necessary.

A source said the suspension of the 11 staff was because they are not registered with regulatory body the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC). The source said the problem was “administrative” and not linked to “quality of care”.

The SSSC is currently phasing in registration of key groups of the social services workforce, which includes checking what qualifications staff have. The deadline for care support workers to register was September 30.

The onus is on individuals to make sure they are registered. Staff are given time to obtain appropriate qualifications.

Newbyres opened in 2008 and consists of single-storey buildings linked by corridors or “streets”. The last inspection of the home, completed in September, rated it as “weak” on all four aspects it looked at – quality of care and support, quality of environment, quality of staffing and quality of management and leadership.

The report said: “Improvement was needed in resident and relative/carer participation, care planning and reviews, delivery of care, staff training, including supervision and assessment of competency in some areas of care, audit systems, standards of record keeping and notifications made to the Care Inspectorate.

“We also saw areas of concern in the management of medicines, staff training and safety of the environment which need to be addressed as a matter of priority to ensure that residents are not placed at undue risk of harm. Improvement is needed in regard to maintaining and promoting the dignity of residents and the respect shown to residents and relatives/carers.”

A spokesman for the Care Inspectorate said: “We will continue to monitor this service closely and will report on progress in due course. If we are not satisfied that sufficient progress is being made we will not hesitate to take further action.”

A spokeswoman for Midlothian Council said: “It is not our policy to comment on confidential staffing issues.

“However, we want to reassure residents and their families that quality of our care service and staffing levels are being maintained.”

The SSSC said it could not comment.

ian.swanson@edinburghnews.com