The five star (very good) marks in all four areas – quality of care and support, quality of environment, quality of staffing and quality of management and leadership –come just two and a half years after the home received all twos (weak). And in May 2016 staff had to re-apply for their jobs following a full review by Midlothian Council.
However, a change of management at the Gore Avenue facility has seen incredible improvements. The care home’s manager Craig Thomson, who took over in November 2015, just two months after the damming Care Inspectorate report, puts the turnaround down to simply getting “back to basics”.
He said: “We have done very well. The staff have been great. It has been excellent.
“The new management team has helped. It was all about going back to basics.
“The quality of care was never in question. It was the paperwork and planning. Supported learning wasn’t great for staff either. So it was a case of stripping it back to the basics and starting again.
“It was a case of motivating the staff and they have done really well. During my time we have recruited more staff and retrained existing staff. It’s great for them to see the difference.
“The last report was all fours in January 2017, which was our best report ever. So to get fives this time is even better and a credit to the whole team.”
As well as giving the care home the second highest score in all areas, the inspectors made no recommendations for improvements. The home, which has 60 residents, was labelled “a pleasant, comfortable and safe environment for residents to live in”. While, “steady and continuous improvement in all aspects of service provision” were noted, resulting in “improved outcomes for residents in this home”.
Mr Thomson was quick to thank his staff for the turnaround at Newbyres. Those who were there before he arrived and those who have joined the team since. He said: “We have now got a nice training room which is used every week. It’s all about getting the staff involved in supported learning. Taking responsibility for their own training.
“The staff have done that and responded well to what we wanted to do. Mixed with the new faces coming in , it’s really helped us get where we are.
“People have said well done to me, but I have to make it clear it’s not down to me, it’s a team effort. That’s the domestic staff right through to care staff and support staff. As well as the support from the council’s Quality Assurance team.”