Watchdog Bosses Enjoy Open Day Visit to East Lothian Care Home

by Sarah Drummond

Monday, June 24th, 2013

Care Inspectorate visit locals on National Care Home Open DayResidents and staff at a seaside home rolled out a warm welcome for two special visitors during National Care Home Open Day – by inviting the bosses of Scotland’s care watchdog to join them.

Care Inspectorate Chief Executive Annette Bruton and Chair Paul Edie, spent several hours being shown round Astley House care home in North Berwick, East Lothian on Friday.

During the trip they joined residents for afternoon tea with scones, strawberries and cream and enjoyed a performance from a local musician who leads a weekly sing-along for residents.

After meeting and chatting with many of the 36 people who live in the care home, Paul Edie, said: “Many families face difficult decisions when older relatives need to move into a care home.

“People need to do a lot of homework when choosing a care home – like making sure friends and relatives are close, and making sure specialist support is in place.

“For me, the chance to spend a few hours in Astley House underlined just how important such visits can be in helping people choose the right home for them or their loved ones. “

Care Homes Open Across Scotland

It is estimated almost 2500 care homes across the UK opened to their local community on Friday (jun 21), as part of National Care Home Open Day, an initiative backed by Baroness Joan Bakewell.

The Care Inspectorate urges people to do lots of research, including site visits, before choosing a home that is right for their loved ones.

Paul Edie added: “We also encourage people to check the latest inspection reports for any care home they are considering using. The Care Inspectorate visits every care home in Scotland regularly, and all our inspection reports are published freely on our website, www.careinspectorate.com.

Rigorous Inspections

“When we inspect, we talk to staff and residents, observe practices that are going on, and examine at the fabric of the home itself. We then grade the quality of care, staffing, environment and leadership for each home.

“Care homes play such an important role in the later lives of so many people. While the majority of care homes in Scotland perform well, the Care Inspectorate does not hesitate to take action where necessary.”

Astley House is operated by Fairfield Care Homes and during the visit Annette and Paul also met with Fairfield directors Joan McGregor and Colin Corstorphine and home manager Clara MacKenzie.

Colin Corstorphine said: “Annette and Paul were very interested to hear our thoughts about how the Care Inspectorate interacts with providers and about our own journey at Astley house and other services operated by Fairfield.”

Clara MacKenzie added “It was a great privilege to be able to show Annette and Paul our home. Residents and staff alike are very proud of the home and the care we provide”

Public relations in Scotland for the Care Inspectorate is handled by the expert PR team at Holyrood Partnership, providing strategic communication advice and media relations.

Private: Sarah Drummond

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