Staff from the West Dunbartonshire Council Home Care service feel "unsupported" at work.

This is according to a recent report published by the Care Inspectorate which ranked the service as being "weak" in several key areas.

As part of the report, they spoke with 27 people using the service and 11 of their family members as well as 19 staff members and management.

The inspectors, who carried out their analysis in March, also observed practice and daily life along with reviewing documents and speaking to four visiting professionals.

Evaluating quality, with one signifying "unsatisfactory" and six being "excellent", the report found the service was below the standard required on a number of issues.

It ranked as "weak" in supporting people's wellbeing, leadership, quality of staff team and planning. 

Staff interviewed said they were "stressed" and "overworked". While they did say they enjoyed their jobs, they felt "unsupported" in their roles.

It was also noted that some care plans lacked detail, and this was also highlighted by care staff.

Reports provided by the service showed that under half of the planned hours were being delivered and inspectors said that "staff schedules were unworkable in terms of time spent supporting people and travelling time".

The report highlighted how "low numbers of reviews, sparse consultation with people and some absence of care plans showed a lack of dignity and respect for people and their needs and wishes".

While inspectors did appreciate the current challenges that the service faced in terms of staffing resources, high absence levels and a redesign of the service, they raised concerns that the service was well behind on completing the necessary six-monthly reviews for people.

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Analysis of documents showed that "samples of supervision sessions did not include reflection or target setting by staff" and while a good template for team meetings had been developed "it was not clear how this had been implemented".

Spot checks of staff competencies and practice had also not yet been introduced.

Positive interactions between people and care staff were observed and people reported being treated with dignity and respect by staff. 

A spokesperson for West Dunbartonshire Health and Social Care Partnership said: "We welcome this scrutiny which will help us strengthen the support we offer residents through our dedicated care at home service.

“All of the identified improvement requirements underpin our approach to the ongoing redesign of home care in West Dunbartonshire which will ensure person-centred services, aligned to individual need, with the right help available at the right time.

"We are very grateful to our dedicated carers who, despite the challenges, have continued to deliver vital services to some of our most vulnerable residents.

“We continue to work with the Care Inspectorate and will be guided by a robust action plan which will embed improvements within the service and to achieve better outcomes for service users.”