A support service for vulnerable adults in the north-east has been awarded top marks by inspectors for helping them make friends.
Monitors from the Care Inspectorate watchdog visited Aberdeenshire Council Shared Lives Scheme’s adult placement programme and rated it “excellent” the best of six possible ratings – a rating rarely given.
Based at Viewmount on Arduthie Road, Stonehaven, the service arranges for vulnerable adults to live with families and receive personal care, support or counselling either on a temporary or permanent basis.
At the time of the inspection the scheme had 20 sets of carers and 26 service users.
The report said: “The service achieved an excellent standard. We were confident that this performance is sustainable.”
Service users often go on weekends away and take part in activities such as canoeing.
Such outings, said the report, “provided a stimulating programme of new and enjoyable experiences and opportunities to meet up with old friends”.
Placements allow service users to make friends and become less isolated, the report added.
They have also become fitter, started to eat better and have learned about alcohol awareness and work opportunities.
The report said: “A culture of continuous improvement was evident and involved the whole team under the manager’s highly capable and supportive leadership.”
The report added: “Family members felt the weekends away allowed opportunities to mix with others and for their relatives to improve self-confidence and to have social opportunities.
“Another felt her son would do things on the weekend away that he wouldn’t normally do.”
The service’s team leader Sue Mahony said: “We are delighted to receive such a positive report from the Care Inspectorate, which highlights a year of exciting partnership working by so many people.
“Shared Lives Aberdeenshire has consistently received high grades over the last few years, as well as being shortlisted in the Scottish Social Services Awards for two consecutive years.
“To achieve an ‘excellent’ grade from the Care Inspectorate is testament to the hard work of everyone who is part of the scheme – not just the council but, importantly, Shared Lives carers, people who use this service and their families.”