North-east care home’s staffing levels criticised by inspectors

Alastrean House in Aboyne
Alastrean House in Aboyne

Inspectors have raised concerns about staffing levels at a north-east care home.

The Care Inspectorate visited Alastrean House in Aboyne in December 2017 and rated it “good” for care and support – the third best of six possible ratings.

After the latest inspection in September, the watchdog has rated the home “adequate” for care and support – its fourth rating.

The latest report on the home, which can accommodate up to 51 people, said: “Residents should experience care and support that is right for them and residents experience warmth, kindness and compassion.

“We spent a significant amount of time observing staff practice in the home and how the staff interacted with residents. We found the culture and ethos had changed. Staff displayed a lack of passion at times.

“There was a focus on meeting residents’ basic needs which at times was compounded by a shortfall in staff on duty.”

The report said some residents had to wait long periods for assistance. Inspectors ordered the home to ensure it has sufficient staff.

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Residents told inspectors staff are “wonderful” but “always busy”.

A spokeswoman for Balhousie Care Group, which runs the home, said: “Balhousie Care Group welcome the positive comments made in the recent inspection by the Care Inspectorate on Balhousie Alastrean.

“Our senior management is working closely with staff at Balhousie Alastrean, as it does continuously throughout all our homes, to ensure we provide the level of high-quality care Balhousie Care Group is known for.

“Our residents are our highest priority and since the visit we have been fully committed to addressing and resolving the issues raised in it.”