Care home described as ‘ weak’ Union hits back over blame
An under- threat care home has had its per formance branded “weak” – for the second time in a year.
Watchdogs slammed South Lodge in a hard hitting probe, which highlighted a string of failures at the base.
Standards of care, environment, staffing and management all came in for criticism.
It follows a council review into the future of its home in Ayr’s Racecourse Road.
A team from the Care Inspectorate raised concerns over “gaps in staff knowledge and best practice”.
And they insisted there was “potential to compromise the welfare, rights, and privacy of residents”.
The report added: “Observation of some moving and handling practice had identified where practices had potential to increase risk of harm to residents.
“A l t h o u g h t h i s h a d p r e v i o u s l y been highlighted to management, appropriate training had not been provided for staff to promote safer practice.”
The Inspectorate had criticised a number of “inconsistencies” during an earlier visit to the home last August.
And officials were equally as damning during the latest unannounced visit in July.
Now councillors have warned the home is on a last warning to get its act together.
At a meeting of the leadership panel, the SNP’s Julie Dettbarn said: “This report makes very difficult reading for all of us.”
And Labour’s Brian McGinley said: “I’m very concerned because we’re talking about people’s quality of life here.
“And in truth, this situation has been on the slide since 2014.”
Council care chief, Kenny Leinster, admitted problems in recruitment had piled pressure on the already strained home staff.
He revealed: “As an example, it took five attempts to fill the deputy manager position.”
Council leader Douglas Campbell said: “There is an obligation on us to have the correct systems in place.
“For us to say we couldn’t employ a manager doesn’t ring very well with us.”
As part of an action plan for improvement, the care home is now to be monitored every four weeks.
I t f o l l ows t h e appointment of six temporary staff to try and boost numbers at the ailing base.
But union officials insist employees are being made scapegoats in the row.
The GMB’s Paul Arkison said: “South Lodge is a prime example of a council service that has been starved of investment for years.
“GMB Trade Union members are currently working here in the most awful of circumstances.
“Everyone knows that the council is considering closure of South Lodge yet our members are still providing a much valued service to the residents who are at South Lodge, despite the threat of job losses.
“Local politicians need to get their priorities sorted and rather than spending money on pri v a te companies and expensive consultants they need to start looking after local services.
“Many councillors supported the retention of South Lodge when they were in opposition and now that they are in power, we will expect the same support.”