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Care Inspectorate criticises Ross-shire care-at-home service

By Alasdair Fraser

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General news.
General news.

A ROSS-SHIRE care-at-home service has been criticised by an industry watchdog for potentially harmful errors in dispensing medication.

Key Community Supports, run by social landlord Key Housing Association Ltd, provides help for people with disabilities and complex care needs across Scotland, including in Invergordon and Alness.

A report by the Care Inspectorate highlighted many good aspects of care and support.

The quality of staffing was rated as good overall, although the quality of management and leadership was described as “adequate”.

Medication emerged as a main issue of concern among more minor criticisms, with the report stating: “We had concerns about the number of medication errors and their potential to cause harm.

“The provider is working closely with the Care Inspectorate and NHS Highland to deliver an improvement plan to reduce the number of medication errors and to ensure safer care practices.”

As a consequence, Key Community Supports has been asked to provide monthly updates and analysis of medication errors and provide evidence of month by month improvements.

Among plenty of positive feedback on friendly and supportive staff, a recurring criticism from those using the service was related to high staff turnover.

One respondent said: “My relative feels most of the staff treat her with respect, but does not like people barging into her flat telling her what to do … there is always a big turnover of staff and my relative finds it difficult to get to know people.”

Another said: “The one thing that upsets my relatives is the number of different faces they see over a day.”

But 93 per cent of respondents said staff treated them with respect and had time to carry out their duties.

Another said: “Excellent care and support given by the hands-on carers” and one described the care provided as a “gold star” service.

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